MOSCOW, November 26 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower courts’ decision to collect an additional 1.2 million rubles ($26,680 at the current exchange rate) in taxes on foreign investment from Golos, according to the ruling made on Wednesday.

The court statement reads that “the arguments provided by the plaintiff [NGO Golos] do not prove that the courts’ alleged violations of the law influenced the ruling.”

Following an audit of Golos’s 2010 and 2011 books , the Federal Tax Service ruled that the NGO was liable for 5.2 million rubles ($115,600) in additional taxes and also filed a 2-million-ruble lawsuit against it.

Golos, an association of non-profit organizations In Defense of Voters’ Rights, filed a suit to reverse the decision to collect an additional 2.4 million rubles from USAID investments.

The Moscow Commercial Court revealed that Golos received 40 million rubles from USAID in 2011, half of which it used for payroll. The court then ruled to grant half of the claim amount.

A Golos lawyer argued that Golos is a non-profit organization and that USAID’s investment was therefore a non-taxable donation. A tax representative responded that USAID had been banned in Russia and so its investments cannot be considered donations.