U.S. PDV holding miscalculated taxes
on green fuel, sues U.S.on $640M
Unit of Venezuelan national oil company says it
- Suit comes as creditors try to seize assets of PDVSA's Citgo
By Laurel Brubaker Calkins/Bloomberg
Petroleumworld 10 26 2020
A unit of Petroleos de Venezuela SA sued the U.S. to recover more than $640 million in excise taxes it says it overpaid on environmentally friendly fuels.
PDV Holding Inc., the subsidiary of Venezuela's national oil company, claims it improperly calculated tax credits and overpaid from 2005 to 2011. The company, which filed the lawsuit in federal court in Houston late Thursday, recalculated its tax bill and applied for a refund. It says the Internal Revenue Service rejected the claim.
PDV, which in turn indirectly holds Petroleos de Venezuela's U.S. refining and marketing unit, Citgo Petroleum Corp. , said other energy companies have pressed similar tax refund claims in several jurisdictions, with mixed results. It cited Exxon Mobil Corp. , ETC Sunoco Holdings and Delek US Holdings .
The IRS didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, faces legal challenges on multiple fronts. Creditors have lined up seeking court permission to seize assets of Citgo to satisfy hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid debts. Venezuela has defaulted on $60 billion of debt from the government and state-run PDVSA over the past three years amid an economic collapse and U.S. sanctions.
In addition, U.S. prosecutors have charged more than 20 former PDVSA executives, contractors or suppliers in a sprawling corruption scheme they say diverted more than $1 billion in national oil revenues to Venezuelan politicians and their cronies.
PDV filed the lawsuit at a time when Citgo is plagued by low demand for its fuels because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Citgo's Lake Charles refinery in Louisiana was damaged by Hurricane Delta this month and is struggling to restart.
The case is PDV Holding Inc. v. U.S., 20-3621, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).
— With assistance by Lucia Kassai, and Laura Davison