(Adds response from Grupo Salinas)
MEXICO CITY, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Mexico’s tax authority has about 15 cases open against Grupo Salinas, a group of companies controlled by billionaire Ricardo Salinas that include broadcaster TV Azteca and retailer Grupo Elektra, the tax chief told newspaper El Pais in an article on Monday.
The comments from Raquel Buenrostro, head of the SAT tax authority, come as Mexican officials aggressively push to improve enforcement in the country with the lowest tax take in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has publicly praised big companies that have announced major tax settlements, including Walmart Inc.’s Mexican unit and Coca-Cola bottler Femsa, while threatening to expose others that have yet to pay.
In an interview with El Pais here, Buenrostro reportedly said Grupo Salinas is one of the companies that is most resistant to getting up to date with tax payments. The group encompasses over a dozen business units, including publicly traded TV Azteca and Grupo Elektra.
She also said that Salinas, who is among the wealthiest business leaders in Mexico, has many times refused to pay taxes and has instead launched disputes, according to the newspaper.
The SAT did not reply to a request for comment.
Grupo Salinas told Reuters that it is in constant communication with the SAT to comply with tax regulations.
“In those cases where we do not agree, we have exercised our right to go to the competent jurisdictional authorities. We are certain that the result of this exchange will be a fair and acceptable resolution for both parties,” it said in a statement.
Buenrostro last month said tax officials have reviewed 627 large companies so far this year but have yet to analyze another 11,000. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Gregorio)
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