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Prokhorov Faces $32M Tax Claim

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is challenging personal income tax claims of 900 million rubles ($32 million) from Siberian authorities on the sale of assets while he and former business partner Vladimir Potanin split up their empire.

The claims relate to Prokhorov's deal to gain the Soglasie insurance company, Yuliana Slasheva, a spokeswoman for Prokhorov, said Saturday, commenting on an earlier report in Kommersant. The disputed amount is about 7 percent of the taxes the billionaire paid in the Krasnoyarsk region in 2008, she said.

Kommersant said tax inspectors might seek more than 2 billion rubles in back taxes from the billionaire. Prokhorov registered as a taxpayer in the village of Yeruda in 2009 and his tax payments helped Alexander Khloponin, the regional governor and an ally of the businessman, cover a budget deficit, the newspaper said.

Prokhorov plans to enter politics, seeking the chairmanship of the Right Cause party at its June 25 meeting.

Prokhorov's lawyers and the tax inspectors are having a "methodological dispute" about part of his proceeds from the Soglasie deal, Slasheva said. The tax issues were sent to court after his lawyers failed to reach an agreement with the inspectors, she said.

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