TVi loses appeal over tax case



The channel is appealing against the results of the tax authorities’ check and plans to lodge a cassation appeal.

On 12 September the independent television channel lost its appeal against the results of the check carried out by the State Tax Administration.  The Administrative Court of Appeal thus revoked the ruling of the first instance court which had been in TVi’s favour and rejected the channel’s application to have the decision of the Tax Administration declared unlawful.  According to Kateryna Muravyova from the Jurimex Law Firm which was providing TVi with consultation, the judge on Wednesday revoked the part of the first instance court’s ruling which counted over 3 million UAH credit from VAT.

With respect to the information earlier about penalties imposed, Ms Muravyova explained that the “Tax Administration, not waiting for a final ruling, lodged a submission to the Ministry of the Economy, providing information to the effect that there was an infringement of foreign currency legislation. The Ministry of the Economy applied the relevant sanction, introduced licensing of foreign economic activities, i.e. effectively blocked the channel’s ability to pay accounts in foreign currency”.

The results of the tax check in July resulted in criminal proceedings being brought against the General Director of TVi, Mykola Knyazhytsky. The tax police accused him of not paying 3 million UAH in taxes, while Mr Knyazhytsky stated that this was money owed the channel in VAT.  This had been the subject of a court examination which then found in TVi’s favour.

Following considerable publicity and concern expressed not only within Ukraine, the Prosecutor revoked the tax police’s decision to initiate criminal proceedings and closed the case.

As reported, TVi is virtually the sole independent TV channel providing information critical of the present regime and a platform for all political parties. 

It has in one way or another been under pressure since early 2010.  The pressure increased enormously with the actions by the Tax Administration, which coincided with decisions by a large number of cable operators to remove the channel, which is extremely popular, from its packages.

More information about the tax claims can be found here, and about the general assault on TVi in the appeal here

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