Argentine tax authority investigates steel firm with Luxembourg base
BUENOS AIRES Dec 6 (Reuters) - Argentina is investigating its biggest steel maker for allegedly avoiding taxes by headquartering its parent company in Luxembourg, the chief of the tax authority, AFIP, said on Saturday.
Ricardo Echegaray did not mention the company by name in a televised interview but said it bases its official business in Luxembourg to skip paying corporate taxes in Buenos Aires.
Argentina's Techint Group, with headquarters in Luxembourg, owns the world's biggest producer of steel pipes for the energy industry, Tenaris.
"The main steel company in Argentina has set up its holding company in Luxembourg," Echegaray said on local channel America.
"The monies that this Argentine company, which develops its activities from Argentina, makes ... remain hidden and we don't tax them," he added.
Techint was not available for immediate comment.
On Nov. 27, AFIP alleged that HSBC was helping more than 4,000 clients evade taxes by stashing their money in secret Swiss bank accounts. HSBC Argentina rejected the charges.
On Nov. 2 the tax authority said it had suspended Procter & Gamble's local operations after accusing it of tax fraud. AFIP said then that it had to put an end to "these tricks used by international companies" to avoid tax.
P&G said at the time it did not pursue aggressive tax practices and was working to fully understand the allegations and resolve them. (Reporting By Maximiliano Rizzi, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
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