Seven multinational companies in Mexico investigated for tax evasion
Seven companies, chiefly American-based, including Fortune 500 companies in the automotive, mining and retail industries are now under investigation for alleged tax evasion in Mexico. Oscar Molina, who lead audits of big companies at Mexico\’s tax collection agency SAT, says the firms cannot be identified for legal reasons. All seven companies are being investigated as to whether they avoided paying their taxes amid an international crackdown.
It’s an effort on part of the Group of 20 nations, or G20 effort to rein in “aggressive fiscal planning” where multinationals exploit gaps and mismatches in international tax rules to lower their tax burdens.
The companies under investigation are part of a pool of 270 multinationals that the agency has flagged for possibly skirting their tax obligations. Many are suspected of shifting profits to countries with lower taxes despite having a big presence in Mexico. The companies are cooperating with the probe and are providing information on their tax structures to the agency, Molina says.
“It matters a lot to us that these companies change their structures to structures where the taxes they pay in Mexico are exactly right,”
Molina said in an interview last week.
It’s an effort on part of the Group of 20 nations, or G20 effort to rein in \”aggressive fiscal planning\” where multinationals exploit gaps and mismatches in international tax rules to lower their tax burdens. Due to elusion, evasion and a small tax base, recent efforts could help boost the tax take in Mexico, which has the weakest tax revenues in the 34-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Molina said the investigation of the seven firms should be completed in the next four months, at which point authorities will decide whether to go ahead with formal audits.
“We could come to the conclusion that the (companies’) structures are correct and do not have to do with aggressive fiscal planning, or … decide that they are conducting the practices identified by the OECD.”
Offending firms would then either need to pay back taxes and possible fines or fight the allegations in court.