AMLO orders end to corporate tax breaks in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, May 20 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday May 2oth his government will order an end to tax forgiveness for the country’s largest companies, saying $20 billion pesos in exemptions given by his predecessors was akin to theft by gangsters.

Of the firms that benefited from tax breaks totaling more than 400 billion pesos, 58 are listed on the stock exchange, said Mexico’s tax chief Margarita Rios-Farjat at the president’s regular news conference.

Nearly a third of the companies listed on the benchmark S&P/BMV IPC received tax breaks, she said.

Lopez Obrador did not reveal the identity of the companies.

“It’s like white collar fuel theft,” Lopez Obrador said, referring to the widespread stealing of gasoline from pipelines by organized crime that his government has tried to crack down on.

“This mechanism has been abused and it will be eliminated,” Lopez Obrador said.

($1 = 19.1142 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Diego Ore; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and James Dalgleish)