PricewaterhouseCoopers has been given leave to appeal a ruling of a lower
Russian court which found that the auditor was an active participant in tax
evasion at the now bankrupt Yukos oil giant.
The Federal Arbitration Court overturned the January ruling, in which Yukos
was billed for tens of billions of dollars in back-tax claims.
Several foreign courts have since ruled the claims were politically
motivated, and targeted former billionaire owner, Mikhail Khodorovsky, who is
now serving an eight-year prison term, the Wall Street Journal reported.
PwC, the oil giant’s auditors, also faced severe back-tax claims and opted to
withdraw its audits which had previously endorsed the company’s tax strategies.
But the courts pursued the tax evasion issue, creating further legal issues
for the firm which also threatened its licence to continue as an audit firm in
‘We are pleased that the decision provides us a further opportunity to defend
our position in the appeals court. We have always maintained that the claim has
no legal merits,’ a PWC spokeswoman said.
PwC is also preparing to appeal back-tax claims.
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