As preliminary hearings were underway today, ministry envoys claimed that tax services have revealed the company's use of tax-evasion schemes. YUKOS set up a network of 19 companies on the territory of soft-tax regions, alleged the ministry's envoy. Of them, tax-dodging was practiced by eight companies, registered in Mordovia (six), Kazakhstan's town of Baikonur (one) and Eastern Siberia's Evenk autonomous district (one).
It was reported earlier that, on September 2, the tax ministry charged YUKOS with additional 119.9 billion roubles worth of tax debt for the year 2001. Of this sum, 50.7 billion roubles worth of the basic debt and 28.7 billion roubles worth of penalties are to be direct debited.
Penalties are retrieved through courts of arbitration, according to tax legislation. Under the decision of the Moscow court of arbitration, YUKOS is now paying off 99.342 billion roubles in the tax debt for the year 2000. Besides, the tax ministry is now busy with its additional investigation into YUKOS activities for the year 2002.
On March 9, 2004, the tax ministry was transformed into the federal tax service.