SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's government wants UBS AG
The country's Federal Revenue Service claims Link Corretora, which UBS took over in February, did not pay taxes related to capital gains stemming from the divestment of shares in Bovespa Holding SA, a São Paulo-based spokeswoman for UBS said, adding that the risk of losing the case was "possible."
UBS agreed to pay about 200 million reais for Link at the time the deal was announced in April 2010. Link is Brazil's second largest brokerage in the cash equity trading market. Bovespa merged with a rival in 2008 to create BM&FBovespa SA
Brazil's tax authority, which is renowned for its tough tactics, recently intensified pressure on enterprises ranging from commodity exporters to financial companies that it accuses of tax evasion. The crackdown coincides with eroding revenue levels and higher government spending.
The media office of the Brasilia-based revenue service, known as Receita Federal, declined to comment, saying the process is subject to secrecy rules.
The authority, which in Brazil is nicknamed "The Lion," has also notified Itaú Unibanco Holding SA
Receita Federal has raised similar charges against Banco Santander Brasil SA
The government has won some cases in which mergers were carried out to generate goodwill, and so to benefit from the tax shield of such goodwill, according to Carlos Macedo, an analyst with Goldman Sachs.
($1 = 2.41 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, editing by G Crosse)