* Court removes injunction suspending disputed Vale tax bill
* Vale says to appeal, seek new suspension of tax payment
* Vale, other Brazil cos fighting tax on earnings abroad
(Adds Vale to appeal, quote, background)
BRASILIA, May 3 Brazil's highest court
overturned an injunction that had suspended collection of
disputed tax claims from Vale SA, the world's largest
iron-ore producer, the company said on Thursday, adding it would
appeal the ruling.
The miner is fighting four tax bills issued by the federal
tax authority, totaling 30.5 billion reals ($15.83 billion) on
its earnings abroad. Vale said this is tantamount to double
taxation as it paid taxes to foreign governments.
The Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of the federal
tax authority in its appeal against an injunction granted in
March that suspended payment of the taxes by Vale. Vale says it
will now appeal in order to reinstate that suspension.
"Vale remains confident in its arguments and will continue
to pursue all appropriate legal actions until a final decision
on the merits is reached," it said in a statement.
A statement on the court's website confirmed that the
company still had the right to appeal the decision.
A Vale spokesperson said the company would not have to make
an immediate payment should the tax authority request it, since
since it planned to appeal against the latest ruling.
The dispute over whether the taxes are due is waiting to be
judged and is part of a run of appeals begun in the last decade,
including one by the National Industry Confederation (CNI),
against payment of tax on earnings on foreign operations.
Brazil's government is also seeking $3 billion in additional
royalty payments from Vale, claiming the company has understated
the value of its production. Switzerland's government is also
pursuing the company for income tax arrears that Vale disputes.
Key Brazilian mining state Minas Gerais state is seeking an
1.2 billion reais (US$642.83 million) in additional tax from the
company, saying Vale should have based its tax payments on the
value of its output, not production costs. See:
($1 = 1.9265 Brazilian reals)
(Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Jeb Blount, Gary Hill)