Top tax office inspector resigns amid Cemex ruckus

Agency attributes resignation to clash with new general manager

The director of the financial inspection department of Spain's Tax Agency, Luis Jones, has resigned because of differences of opinion with the new general manager of the agency over personnel, Santiago Menéndez, sources at the tax office said Wednesday.

Jones sent an email to agency’s regional directors explaining the reasons behind his resignation, which coincides with the firing of a tax inspector who rejected an appeal lodged by cement manufacturing giant Cemex's Spanish subsidiary against a 450-million-euro fine because the reasons it gave for not being liable were the same as those provided and rejected previously.

The agency said Jones had disagreed with decisions regarding personnel in the inspection department. “In no case does it have to do with any specific case file, nor differences of criteria as regards tax inspection.”

Following the dismissal of the inspector handling the Cemex case, her immediate boss tendered his resignation. Two other department heads have also asked to be assigned to other posts.

Menéndez has denied ever giving instructions in favor of a company. Cemex has acknowledged that it is the subject of a “normal” inspection by the tax office and that it has complied “scrupulously” with all of its legal and tax obligations.

A number of inspectors have said the bone of contention lies in deferred tax credits of 7.41 billion euros built up by Cemex.

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