On this day, a tax opening of Yukos began

On this day, a tax opening of Yukos began

A sensational inquiry of the deputy Mikhail Bugera. Opening has shown: in 2002, Yukos underpaid to the budget $6.7 billion. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 9, 2003.

On this day, on July 9, 2003, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia began a regulatory inspection based on the inquiry of the deputy of the Russian State Duma Mikhail Bugera. The parliamentarian in his letter marked a substantial for the country problem – a problem of tax evasion. He said a non-payment of taxes “by certain oil companies” was possible.

Among examples of potential exploiters of various tax tricks, the parliamentarian cited “something sacred” – the oil company Yukos. According to the member of Parliament, in 2002 Yukos paid to the federal budget only 90 million rubles, at the same time, it received a compensation from the budget to the amount of nearly 2 billion rubles. Apart from that, Yukos paid dividends to its shareholders to the tune of several hundred million U,S. dollars.

In the press, at the command from Yukos, began a yet another show – stories about fashionable reporting of “the most transparent” oil company prepared in accordance with the standards of US GAAP. Apart from that, it was told that the deputy (professional oilman with a degree in economics) was not versed in things he was writing about and had used “obsolete information”, which “are easy to refute in court”. Reassurances were also audible that on the website of the progressive company Yukos were presented all reports beginning from 1998-1999 – sort of, look, what an ignorant inquiry.


Members of Yukos leadership made statements of the same kind. They “categorically denied information about a possible tax dodging of the company”. The non-deceitful Yukos press secretary Alexander Shadrin resolutely assured: data mentioned in the deputy’s inquiry do not correspond to the actual state of affairs. “The company” assured the press secretary, “paid in 2002 to the federal budget 101.7 billion rubles of taxes. The financial indicators of the company for 2002 and for previous years are in the public domain, and they are regularly published in accordance with the Russian and international accounting systems and undergo checkouts by major auditing companies”, narrated Shadrin.


Actually, only the newspaper “Vedomosti” admitted it had not seen the full text of the deputy’s inquiry”. “It was not possible for the newspaper “Vedomosti” to get acquainted with the document, but news agencies present citations that nowadays “numerous methods of tax evasion are used, and it inflicts a huge damage to the state”. Yet, the media outlet “Vedeomosti” brought in “analysts and experts”. These “analysts and experts”, based on incomplete information, (in this case, the same citations from new agencies were used) joyfully sniped at Yukos tax crimes.

“As to the essence of the deputy’s inquiry, analysts speak about it with ill-concealed irony”, wrote the news outlet. “Yukos had never had problems with taxes”, says the analyst of the bank “Zenit” Sergey Suverov. “It’s doubtful that lawyers of the company made such gross violations”.  According to the analyst of the big Russian bank, the sum of 90 million rubles, in all likelihood, is a profit of one of Yukos affiliates”, reported the newspaper “Vedomosti”.

With similar “exploration” came out a bit later “independent” commentators on pages of the newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”. “Reports about non-payment of taxes by the company do not correspond to Yukos statements confirmed by auditors, and these statements, by the way, are published on its website. According to the official reports in compliance with international standards, in 2002, Yukos (including its “affiliates”, naturally) paid 455 million dollars as taxes”, commented the parliamentarian’s inquiry the Standard & Poor’s deputy analytical director Yelena Anankina”.

Everything in this phrase of the expert is complete lie.

(See also the article “On this day, Yukos ended in a tax fiasco”. The decision of withdrawing 99.375 billion rubles came into force. “They artificially created a scheme “to dodge taxes” through their shell firms).


The situation with taxes in Yukos turned out to be much worse as the “reports” about “non-payment” for 2002. Already in November 2004, the Federal Tax Service presented to Yukos a tax audit report for that period to the total amount exceeding 192 billion rubles, or about 6.7 billion dollars. The whole sum of the tax claims to Yukos for 2000-2002 exceeded 14 billion dollars, to Yukos affiliate “Yugansknefegaz” – 3.3 billion dollars. In truth, such was “the reporting in accordance with international standards”.

Apart from that, it is worth remembering that the world-famous auditing company “PricewaterhouseCoopers” (PWC), in 2007, was forced to recall its auditors’ opinions of Yukos activity for the period of nine years! In the mid-July 2007, the company sent a letter to members of Yukos board saying “auditors opinions of PwC for the period of 1996-2004 cannot be regarded as confirmation of Yukos finance reporting”.

The court held that PwC had carried out audits of Yukos with violations of professional standards thus facilitating the oil company to evade taxes.


“One should not forget about the much praised website of Yukos, everybody was referring to as a source of “transparency” of the company. The investigation, while collecting proofs of economic crimes committed by Yukos swindlers, assured itself, on record, of manipulations with reporting. In actual fact, it turned out that this was an example of incomplete, castrated information”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, Yukos was gambling on invented letter”. An invisible letter about Khodorkovsky’s* generous offer to hand over his shares to the Russian government. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 8, 2004).

*On May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of physical persons executing functions of a foreign agent.

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