IG Hits Back at Afghan Criticism on Contractor Taxes

May 22, 2013

A government watchdog is defending an audit that uncovered tens of millions of dollars in Afghan taxes improperly levied against federal contractors in recent years amid sharp criticism from the country’s finance ministry.The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction earlier this month found Afghanistan had charged $921 million in taxes and penalties on 43 U.S.-funded contractors since 2008. Those taxes included nearly $100 million from a corporate tax category that U.S. and Afghan officials agreed ought to have been exempt, the IG report found.But Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan’s minister of finance, called the findings “deeply flawed” in a May 16 letter he sent to IG John Sopko, arguing auditors had never sought “meaningful input” from his department.

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