Turan Information Agency Considers Claims of Ministry of Taxes Illegal

Baku /10.08.07 / Turan: The Department for Preliminary Investigation of Tax Crimes under the Ministry of Taxes initiated a criminal case and a preliminary investigation into the information agency (IA) Turan on August 7, 2017. Simultaneously, on August 8, the same department began an on-site tax audit of the Agency"s activities.

The department"s decision is based on the decisions of another department (the Baku City Local Income Department) about accrual of additional profit tax to the Agency for the period from 2014 in the amount of about 27,000 manats (16,200 dollars), and together with additional advance payments and interest payments the sum is more than 37 thousand manats.

Both departments requested the agency for the entire tax documentation (in 5 and 15 days respectively).

The Agency categorically rejects the allegations of the tax authorities regarding the understatement of profits and considers the actions of these offices to be illegal and clearly biased, and therefore it applied to Baku Administrative Economic Court No. 1. As a defendant, the Agency attracted both offices of the Ministry of Taxes.

In the statement of claim, the Agency asks the court:

To abolish the decisions of the Baku City Local Income Department under the Ministry of Taxes of August 7, 2017 on the calculation of the profit tax;

To recognize as illegal and invalid the decision of the Department for Preliminary Investigation of Tax Crimes under the Ministry of Taxes to conduct an on-site tax audit with respect to the Agency.

Among other arguments, in the statement of claim, the court's attention is also drawn to the fact that on August 8 the Local Income Department submitted to Turan IA three decisions of August 7, 2017 on the calculation of profit tax in the amount of AZN 7,991.70 for 2014, AZN 9,829.20 for 2015, and AZN 9,086 for 2016, while concealing the fact that before this same office already charged the Agency with an additional profit tax for 2016 in the amount of AZN 3,374.36, as a result of which more than AZN 5,000 was withdrawn from the Agency"s bank accounts. Most importantly, on the basis of the Agency"s administrative complaint that decision was canceled by the Ministry of Taxes! The Local Income Department, firstly, hides the fact of the previous audit; secondly, it almost triples the amount of the "profit tax"; thirdly, it commits acts incompatible with its powers - on June 30, 2017, the Ministry of Taxes canceled the decision of the Local Income Department (which "only" calculated AZN 3,374.36 then), considering that the Agency did not understate the amount of its income. That is, in the presence of a decision of a higher authority having legal force, the The Department for Preliminary Investigation of Tax Crimes took a diametrically opposite decision.

The statement also notes that on August 8, a representative of the Department for Preliminary Investigation of Tax Crimes under the Ministry of Taxes visited the Turan IA"s office and presented a decision to conduct an extraordinary on-site tax audit, refusing to issue even a copy of this decision to the Agency and limiting himself to only recording in the Agency's Control Book with reference to Art. 38.3.5 of the Tax Code. However, according to this article, an extraordinary on-site tax audit can be conducted on the basis of information received by a tax authority from a well-known source about signs of concealment (understatement) by a taxpayer of its income or taxation object. Such information was not and cannot be presented to the Agency, because information of the kind does not exist.

The haste close to monstrous legal nihilism and demonstration of flagrant disobedience to a higher authority and its decision, as well as disregard for the Constitution and the Tax Code, can also be a sign that these actions and decisions are custom-made and aimed at hampering the activities of Turan Information Agency as a media organ, and paralysis of its work. This suspicion is also reinforced by the synchronization of the actions of the two departments and the obviously unfounded criminal case.

The agency emphasizes that the actions of the tax authorities, along with the legislation of Azerbaijan, also violate the rights provided for by Articles 7, 10, 13, 14, 17 and 18 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as well as Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and Article 4 of Protocol No. 7.

The statement of claim was signed by Turan Agency"s Director Mehman Aliyev. The Agency"s rights in court are protected by the well-known lawyer Fuad Agayev. -06D-

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