Finland welcomes HC order on Nokia tax case

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SummaryThe Income Tax Department had slapped a notice on Nokia’s Indian subsidiary for violating withholding tax norms.

Welcoming the Delhi High Court’s decision in the Nokia tax case, Finland has said it would help in expeditiously executing the sale of the telecom major’s assets to US-based Microsoft.

“I sincerely hope, though, that this conditional decision (allowing Nokia to transfer its Chennai factory to Microsoft) will enable the swift and effective release and transfer of Nokia’s Indian assets to Microsoft,” Finland’s minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb said.

The minister, however said: “In light of recent experiences of foreign companies, I still remain uneasy about India’s investment climate.”

Nokia and a string of multinational companies have come under the scanner of tax authorities of India. The companies have denied any wrong doing but tax authorities say they need to protect revenues.

The Income Tax Department had slapped a notice on Nokia’s Indian subsidiary for violating withholding tax norms since 2006 while making royalty payments to the parent company in Finland.

Among the major MNCs, British telecom giant Vodafone, US-based technology major IBM, and major oil company Shell are locked in tax disputes with Indian revenue department.

In a major relief to Nokia, the Delhi High Court on December 12 defreezed the assets of the Finnish firm India, including in Chennai, paving the way for their sale to Microsoft.The court, however, imposed certain conditions on Nokia India and its parent firm Nokia Corporation Finland.

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