Tax bureau rejects complaint from Aum

Yomiuri Shimbun/August 22, 2000

The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau has informed two Tokyo-based computer retailers affiliated with the Aum Supreme Truth cult that it has rejected their complaint over having to pay about 800 million yen in back taxes, including penalties, sources said Monday.

The two companies, Poseidon in Chiyoda Ward and SBR in Taito Ward, have one month in which to file an appeal with the bureau. But as the bureau has been unable to contact the presidents of the two firms and the content of the complaint is ambiguous, tax authorities say the firms' complaint appears to have been merely a ploy to gain time.

The bureau plans to begin collecting the taxes and to seize the stores, the sources said. The two stores were the cash cows of the Aum-affiliated computer business. In late March, the bureau informed the two companies they had failed to report 1.2 billion yen in income and asked them to pay 800 million yen in back taxes, including consumption tax and penalties.

Both companies stopped doing business after they were investigated in June last year. The two companies filed the complaint on May 29 with the bureau in Otemachi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, the sources said.

According to the sources, the complaint said police had already searched their offices and confiscated their ledgers by the time the bureau audited their books.

According to the complaint, the bureau carried out the audit by force although the two companies had asked for a postponement of the audit. The complaint also contended the audit itself was illegal, arguing that audits are supposed to be conducted on a voluntary basis.

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