August 13, 2019 / 1:08 AM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Interjet challenges tax authority over debt collection

(Adds details, comment from tax authority)

MEXICO CITY, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Interjet said on Monday that a judge has suspended an order for the airline to pay off fiscal debt and that it is challenging the tax authority’s assessment of what it owes.

“Interjet is clearing up differences over taxes that it believes are erroneous,” it said in a statement.

Shortly after Interjet’s announcement, however, Mexico’s finance ministry and the tax authority SAT issued a joint statement that said SAT had taken steps to collect debt from “an airline” and that the process is in litigation.

The statement did not name the airline or provide further details. The ministry did not respond to messages seeking more information. SAT is part of the ministry.

Mexican newspaper Reforma reported on Monday that the SAT has aimed to retain 10% of Interjet’s cash earnings to compensate for debts accumulated between 2013 and 2017.

A judge’s order from last month, cited by Reforma, was redacted to black out the total amount owed, but showed that taxes in those years were only partially paid.

Reforma also reported the government said in response to an information request last month that Interjet owed at least 92 million pesos ($4.70 million) for airspace rights. ($1 = 19.5830 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Sharay Angulo, Daina Beth Solomon and Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall)

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