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News Outdoor’s Accounts Frozen

The Federal Tax Service has ordered banks serving Rupert Murdoch’s advertising company News Outdoor to freeze the firm’s accounts and divert any income to the tax service, to cover a 1.34 billion ruble ($44.5 million) tax bill, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

The company lost an appeal 10 days ago in a case that started in July 2009 concerning back taxes, which the service claims it is owed because of News Outdoor’s allegedly improper use of tax breaks in 2005-06. News Outdoor has accounts in Raiffeisen and East Bridge bank and is trying to arrange a payment plan for the debt, Kommersant said.

Gary Napalkov, a spokesman for News Outdoor, told Kommersant that a payment of more than 65 million rubles has been made to the tax service, and they should see the money in the coming days. The tax authority says it has no information yet about a payment from the company.

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