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Update: PwC says it repaid $11 mln Russian tax debt in full

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PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit (PwC), the U.K.-based auditor, who represented the bankrupt Russian oil company Yukos in 2002-2004, said Friday it had repaid all of its $11 million back taxes.
(Recasts through, adds comments from PwC)

MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit (PwC), the U.K.-based auditor, who represented the bankrupt Russian oil company Yukos in 2002-2004, said Friday it had repaid all of its $11 million back taxes.

Russia's Interior Ministry said earlier Friday it was conducting checks into the company's Moscow office suspected of 243 million rubles ($9.3 million) tax evasion in 2002.

The company's press service said the ministry's announcement was nothing new, and added PwC had already repaid the back taxes in full.

Russian law-enforcement officers pressed the 2002 profit tax claims against PwC a year ago. The company has lost three appeals with arbitration courts since then, and said Friday it was considering an appeal with the Supreme Arbitration Court.

Russian tax authorities are accusing PwC's Moscow branch of deliberately underestimating profit tax on sums it allegedly paid to offshore PricewaterhouseCoopers Resourses B.V., which was supposed to provide financial consultations to clients in Russia. Tax officials said the consultations were provided by the Moscow branch of the company instead.

Commenting on the police checks, the company said it was cooperating with law-enforcement officers.

Separately, PwC is also facing charges of covering up Yukos's illegal financial schemes and of drawing up two different audit reports in 2002-2004. The tax service is seeking to charge PwC $480,000, but the company denies the accusations.

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