A financial sanction has been imposed on Reporter Information Agency (RIA) by the Ministry of Taxes.
Yesterday, 12 March, RIA received a letter indicating that the agency was being fined in accordance with articles 23.1.5 (consider cases in connection with violation of tax legislation defined by law, to estimate interest on tax debts of legal and physical persons, to define financial sanctions and administrative fines) and 57.1 (according to the decision of tax organ head (his assistant), a financial sanction in the amount of 40 manats is imposed when tax payers do not submit tax reports or reference envisaged in article 16.2 of this Code within the defined period without evidence) of Azerbaijan’s Tax Code. According to the letter, the sanction was instituted because RIA has not been paying taxes on time.
The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety was told this by the founder of Reporter Information Agency (RIA) Zulfugar Kheyirkhabar. According to Kheyirkhabar, this sanction is totally unfounded. “Nine months have passed since the agency was created,” he said. “And we have informed the Ministry of Taxes about our activity via internet on time within this period.”
Zulfugar Kheyirkhabar evaluates this sanction as pressure against free and independent media. Noting that he expects support from people who are supportive of free media, Kheyirkhabar emphasized that RIA has faced pressure before also.