Venezuela Tax Agency Closes 80 McDonald's Restaurants

Venezuela's tax agency last week closed more than 200 businesses, including 80 McDonald's restaurants, for violating tax rules.

President Hugo Chavez has been taking a tough stance against tax evasion and questionable accounting practices in recent years, and the temporary closings were part of a “zero evasion” campaign, according to the state-run Bolivarian News Agency, which quoted tax official Lucila Ascanio.

The fast-food restaurants were closed for three days because a discrepancy was found between the company's purchases and its records of sales, the news agency reported. McDonald's representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

McDonald's is not alone. Lucent Technologies, supermarkets and a number of other companies, both foreign and domestic, have been closed and fined for violating the country's stringent tax guidelines.

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