‘No clarity on Vodafone-type cross-border deals’
Armed with retrospective amendments in tax laws that overturned an SC ruling that said Indian tax authorities have no jurisdiction over the 2007 Vodafone deal, Chidambaram said an approving panel that would be a neutral arbiter between the assessee and taxman in the GAAR regime “may have regard to the period or time which the arrangements had existed...” (In the Vodafone case, the corporate structure that allowed London-headquartered telecom firm and Hong Kong-based Hutchison to clinch the deal that created Vodafone-Essar in India had existed much before the 2007 transaction).
So, in future Vodafone-like cases, one of the criteria for deciding the taxability in India would be how long the arrangement had preexisted.
Chidambaram's statement on Monday, however, did not dwell on the other aspect the Shome committee had looked into – retrospective amendments, including that on taxation of cross-border transaction with underlying Indian assets. While Vodafone has received a fresh tax demand from the tax authorities under the retrospective amendment that overturned the SC judgement, the tax authorities have scheduled a meeting with the firm this week.
“We are awaiting the final recommendations of the Shome panel's suggestion on indirect transfers and the subsequent changes that the government will have to bring out regarding that. The proposed Direct
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