Little headway in Vodafone tax meet with govt
Sources said while Vodafone executives presented the option of the government reducing the principal tax amount to R2,500 crore from R7,990 crore and waiving the interest and penalty components, the tax department did not agree. The ministry said it could consider waiving the penalty component but the company needs to pay up the tax and interest components.
Sources said the maximum leniency the ministry could be inclined to show was to let go of both penalty and the interest components.
In the absence consensus, more meetings may take place but no new dates have been fixed so far.
Tuesday’s meeting was attended by Vodafone India chairman Analjit Singh, group external affairs director Matthew Kirk and global CFO Andy Halford. Representing the government were revenue secretary Sumit Bose and Central Board of Direct Taxes chairperson Poonam Kishore Saxena.
After the two-and-a-half hour meeting, company executives left the North Block, which houses the finance ministry without taking any questions from waiting mediapersons.
Earlier in the day, telecom minister Kapil Sibal assured Vodafone that the government was “always ready to collaborate and look at some of their concerns”.
The revenue department had recently sent a tax reminder to the company regarding the capital gains tax arising out of the ‘indirect’ transfer of underlying Indian assets of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa