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BUSINESS

Cemex probe creates storm at Tax Agency

An inspector handling the audit of the giant cement maker was sacked on the spot last week The firing prompted the resignation of her boss

Jesús Sérvulo González

The management of the Spanish Tax Agency last week fired a tax inspector working in its large contributors department on the spot after she rejected an appeal lodged by Mexican cement manufacturing giant Cemex’s Spanish subsidiary against a multi-million- euro fine for unpaid taxes.

As a result of her dismissal, the head of her department resigned. The Tax Agency on Thursday did not rule out the possibility of further resignations.

The Tax Agency itself and the Finance Ministry attributed the sacking of the inspector to a restructuring of the tax office after the arrival of the new general manager, Santiago Menéndez.

However, other sources directly linked her dismissal to the probe opened in July of 2011 into Cemex’s tax declarations for the period 2006-2009. Cemex has put aside a provision in its accounts of six million euros for possible back taxes due, along with possible fines.

Cemex has also built up tax credits worth 7.410 billion as a result of accumulated losses. Other sources said the inspector’s dismissal may be related to incorrectly allowing Cemex to claim between 2 and 3 billion euros in these credits.

Cemex declined to comment on the dismissal and its tax affairs.

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