A large Chelyabinsk manufacturer of trucks – AZ Ural – found itself in the epicenter of large-scale financial proceedings. One of the opponents of the industrialists was the inter-district inspection of the Federal Tax Service, following the results of the audit of which claims were made to the automobile plant for at least 300 million rubles. At the moment, within the framework of this dispute, Ural has managed to freeze the decision of the fiscals. Automakers pointed to thousands of employees, a payroll of nearly half a billion, large government contracts and subsidies received. In particular, according to the position of the company’s lawyers, an indisputable withdrawal of funds would lead to significant risks for the execution of the state defense order by the enterprise. However, the conflicts between AZ Ural and the Federal Tax Service do not end at this trial, and in parallel, the plant itself puts forward claims in the capital arbitration for almost 2 billion against VEB and foreign assets registered in Cuba. As observers note, the controversy unfolds against the backdrop of reports of the sale of business by Dmitry Strezhnev and parallel statements by management about significant production plans and new sites.
The Arbitration Court of the city of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region will consider the next claim of JSC Automobile Plant Ural (Miass; AZ Ural) against the Interdistrict Inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service of Russia for the largest taxpayers No. 8. The company insists on the annulment of the fiscal officials’ decision to hold accountable for the offense.
As noted by “Pravda UrFO” with reference to the card file data, a series of lawsuits was filed by the automobile plant against the inspection. On one of them, the company has already managed to achieve the adoption of interim measures. We are talking about proceedings related to the presentation of AZ Ural 289.7 million taxes with parallel liability in the form of a fine in the amount of 21.8 million. The audit against the plant was carried out after it submitted an updated income tax return for 2019 the year in which subsidies received from the federal budget for the payment of the recycling fee are excluded from income.
Insisting on the “freezing” of the decision of the Federal Tax Service, the lawyers of the automobile plant indicated that the indisputable recovery of hundreds of millions risks turning into significant damage to Ural. According to their position, the withdrawal of such funds from circulation would have a negative impact on income, the ability to settle civil law transactions, including payment of wages, which would also create other risks, “including taking into account the defense contracts that the taxpayer has.”
“The company is the executor of the state defense order, the total number of state contracts in 2021 was 133 contracts, in 2022 – 139 contracts. Currently, 166 existing state contracts/agreements in the field of state defense orders are involved as the lead contractor/executor for cooperation, which is 51% of the total volume of economic activity,” the company said in court. Also, representatives of the plant emphasized that the payroll of the company in April was 7135 people, and the average monthly payroll was 437 million rubles (without insurance premiums).
Another emphasis was placed on the subsidies received by the enterprise. “The condition for the provision of various subsidies <...> is the absence of arrears in obligatory payments to the budget <...> The execution of the appealed decision <...> will entail the emergence of arrears in society <...>, which will entail the termination of the state defense order by the enterprise, the impossibility of obtaining subsidies from the budget for the normal conduct of its activities,” said AZ Ural in arbitration, which ultimately supported its position.
It should be noted that the automobile plant wanted to achieve security in another lawsuit, but was refused.
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of proceedings with the Federal Tax Service, another no less interesting conflict is developing. Thus, Ural Automobile Plant JSC filed a lawsuit with the Moscow Arbitration Court against VEB.RF, Empresa Estatal Cubana Importadora y Exportadora de Productos Tecnicos Tecnoimport (Cuba, Havana), Banco Internacional del Comercio SA (BICSA) (Cuba). As follows from the filing cabinet, we are talking about the recovery of 1.9 billion rubles. The essence of the dispute is not disclosed at the moment.
No less interesting in the light of these disputes is the change of control over the plant. So, at the end of last month, federal media reported that businessman Dmitry Strezhnev (the United Machine-Building Group, which included AZ Ural) sold the assets of the Chelyabinsk plant to the management of the enterprise. The press service of AZ Ural confirmed the deal at the time to Interfax. Its cost, however, was not disclosed.
It should be noted that already this month the general director of the enterprise, Pavel Yakovlev, announced to the same Interfax the start of construction of a new assembly building with a design capacity of 5.5 thousand vehicles per year.
“In addition to assembly, the cabins will be welded in the new building. In general, production will be fully automated. The equipment is planned to be used both domestically and by manufacturers from China and India, ”the publication quoted the manager as saying.
AZ Ural is a major Russian manufacturer of trucks and special passenger vehicles. According to the Kontur.Focus system, at the end of 2020, the company showed a balance of 21.4 billion, revenue – 27.3 billion, net profit – 1.5 billion rubles.