Category: Vodafone

India: Bombay High Court Quashes 197 Order Rejecting Mauritius Tax Treaty Benefits

High Court sets aside section 197 order due to absence of prima facie evidence of tax avoidance Rejects factors such as lack of business activities and administrative expenses as conclusive of sham transactions Holds that a detailed inquiry can be conducted during normal assessment Directs refund of withheld tax subject… – Continue reading

Delhi High Court refuses to stop Vodafone’s UK arbitration

MUMBAI, MAY 7 The Delhi High Court has refused to stop the arbitration filed by Vodafone Plc in the UK against the ₹22,000-crore tax claim by the Indian tax department. The court said that the Centre can approach the UK arbitration tribunal under the India-United Kingdom Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement… – Continue reading

Vodafone Ghana sues GRA over GH¢160m transfer pricing assessment

…as tax dispute escalates Vodafone Ghana has filed a motion at the High Court of Justice, Commercial Division in Accra, against the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) disputing tax assessments of GH¢160 million, according to the Writ obtained by The GRA has asked Vodafone to pay 30 per cent of… – Continue reading

India slaps tax demand on Hutchison for Vodafone deal

India’s income-tax department has raised a tax demand for Hutchison’s capital gains during its sale of India mobile business to Vodafone in 2007 India’s income-tax department has now trained its guns on Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd (HTIL) in connection with its alleged capital gains during the US$ 11-billion… – Continue reading

India Initiates $5 Billion Tax Penalty Against Cairn Energy

Indian tax authorities have initiated a $4.75 billion penalty charge against Cairn Energy for failing to pay a capital gains tax demand of $1.58 billion on a 2006 transaction. Under Section 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, Indian tax authorities can levy a maximum 200 percent penalty against transactions after… – Continue reading

The ‘indirect transfer provisions’ monster

The most important task of the Finance Minister in the 2017-18 budget is to tame the “Indirect Transfer Provisions” monster born out of amendments to Section 9 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. In response to the Supreme Court’s judgement in the famous Vodafone case, the Finance Act, 2012 amended… – Continue reading

A Classic Case Of Double Taxation?

The Central Board of Direct Taxes in India issued Circular Number 41 on December 21, 2016 providing clarifications on applicability of ‘indirect transfer’ provisions under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961 to investors of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) – earlier known as Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in India. The circular… – Continue reading

To Boost Trade, A Bilateral Tax Treaty Between India And The UK May Be In The Offing

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India last week, Patricia Hewitt, chair of the UK-India Business Council, said that Britain is looking to re-balance its commercial links with countries like India post-Brexit. She suggested that the two governments should look at a bilateral tax treaty to boost trade…. – Continue reading

HMRC takes aim at tax dodgers hiding foreign income

The taxman plans to crack down on people who hide earnings from offshore investments, with greater powers to impose tougher penalties. People who do not reveal income from foreign accounts and investments to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) could be hit with penalties of three times the amount of tax… – Continue reading

Mauritius pact: A laudable reform

Last month the government announced an amendment to the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement between India and Mauritius. The DTAA was signed between the two countries in August 1982 and notified in December 1983. For the past thirty-three years it has been a key factor affecting foreign investment flows into India…. – Continue reading

Visible change in tax administration, but still a long way to go

The Delhi HC has delivered path-breaking and bold verdicts, quashing proceedings initiated by CBDT and CBEC administrative guidance for assessments and subsequent denial of benefits. A question tax professionals are often asked is: Has the government done enough to address the situation on tax? Several negative catchphrases had peppered headlines… – Continue reading

Tax planning in the context of Panama Papers

Panama Papers’ disclosures now and earlier dealings of Vodafone through Cayman Islands are stories of famous tax havens, which evoke discussions of how tax evasion takes place. These are all direct taxes, mainly corporate tax, and not indirect tax. These are cases of tax planning that come to the fore… – Continue reading

The problem of secretive tax havens

Panama is a tax haven, but Mauritius is one with which India has a comprehensive double tax treaty. This complicates matters more. In popular Indian imagination, a tax haven is generally associated with Switzerland and its numbered bank accounts. But tax havens are numerous, have grown in importance, and are… – Continue reading

What effect will Vodafone tax dispute have on global investors?

Free-market advocates say retrospective tax claim on the British telecom major sends a negative message to global investors. It seems to be a weak argument Like all tax disputes, the one that involves Vodafone and the government is quite a tangled one. The company has been absolved of tax liability… – Continue reading

Getting to the crux of Ncell buyout deal

CAN NEPAL IMPOSE CAPITAL GAINS TAX ON NCELL BUYOUT DEAL? This question has been making rounds ever since TeliaSonera, the largest shareholder in Nepali telecom operator, Ncell, announced its decision to sell 60.4 per cent of its stake in the telecom company to Malaysian giant, Axiata, for $1.03 billion. Divergent… – Continue reading

TTIP could block Governments from cracking down on tax avoidance, study warns

Similar trade agreements have been used to facilitate apparent tax avoidance in the past A controversial new trade deal between the EU and the United States could make it more difficult to fight tax avoidance, a new report has warned. TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is expected to… – Continue reading

Rajan Blames MNCs For Tax Controversies

‘Multinational corporations complain all the time of excessive demand about excessive taxation, but it is also true that MNCs across the world tend to find tax avoidance and sometimes tax evasion as an appropriate technique’ Blaming multinational corporations squarely for tax controversies, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan has said their… – Continue reading

10 biggest multinational offenders evading taxes in the UK

The brands are known worldwide, and even though global companies like Google, Amazon, and Starbucks make billions — they pay little or no taxes at all in the UK and other markets where the firms make a majority of revenue and profits. Companies like Microsoft, Twitter, and Apple don’t set… – Continue reading

MAP-ping tax reform: Good start to resolving transfer pricing row with US

Though the use of the retrospective tax on Vodafone and Cairn tend to grab the headlines, a large part of the ‘tax terror’ in India has really been the contribution of the high-pitched transfer pricing (TP) additions to the income of the MNCs Though the use of the retrospective tax… – Continue reading

The towns taking on the taxman for a fairer tax deal

A group of businesses in the Welsh town of Crickhowell have gone offshore as part of a campaign to try and get HMRC to change tax laws. The Welsh town of Crickhowell is spearheading a unique campaign to get HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to change the laws so companies… – Continue reading

HMRC hails success of tax avoidance clampdown on UK banks

HMRC said the amount of money in tax avoidance schemes has fallen from £3.2bn in 2013 to £1bn All but two UK-registered banks have signed up to a Government scheme encouraging lenders to avoid using tax avoidance schemes. Some 303 lenders, including banks and building societies, have now signed up… – Continue reading

2015: Transfer Pricing Round-Up

The year 2015 was arguably a momentous one for transfer pricing (TP). A combination of local and international developments will mark it as a period which defined the future direction of this subject. Key Developments The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) released final reports as part of its… – Continue reading

Year 2015: Govt showed intent to bring certainty in tax laws

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power with the promise of putting an end to what many called the tax ‘extortion’ regime of the previous government. The year 2015 was the first full year for the government to walk some of its talk on tax reform. Though the… – Continue reading

From Choppergate to Lara Bingle, spending is the taxing issue

It was Kerry Packer who famously told the nation’s politicians “if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax they want their head read” because “as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be paying extra”. The words have gone down in… – Continue reading

Does ‘BEPS’ address developing country issues?

In 2013, the 39th G8 summit in Lough Erne committed to reform the international tax system. The G8 Lough Erne Declaration stated that such reforms would benefit developing countries. The G20 declaration in St Petersburg 2013 also stated specifically that “Developing countries should be able to reap the benefits of… – Continue reading

Google, Apple and Starbucks would face ‘laughable’ fines for tax dodging under new rules

£300 penalties would be dwarfed by millions in potential profits for firms that take advantage of tax-avoidance schemes Huge multinational companies that dodge millions of pounds in tax in the UK and around the world face “laughable” fines of £300 under new rules proposed by HM Revenue and Customs. The… – Continue reading

India: No Transfer Pricing Adjustment In Cases Where AE Is From High Tax Jurisdiction: Mumbai Tribunal

Transfer pricing adjustment cannot be made in a case where the tax rate in the country of the Associated Enterprise is higher than the Indian rate and where, accordingly, establishment of tax avoidance or manipulation of prices or establishment of shifting of profits is not possible. Only after proper application… – Continue reading

Govt in top gear: Coal India stake sale, Vodafone talks signs of a strong resolve to deliver

From FDI relaxations to gas pricing and now disinvestment and Vodafone talks, it is refreshing that the NDA government has gone on an overdrive to push measures to attain a high growth trajectory. The pace at which the NDA government is taking decisions after Bihar assembly election results is commendable… – Continue reading

Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) for navigating the tax tangle

If statistics are anything to go by, today India is the world’s fastest growing economy at 7.3% in 2015, outstripping the global average of 3.1%. With a new government in the centre, we do seem to be riding high on the growth trajectory. The Modi government has certainly done its… – Continue reading

Untangling the complex web of tax laws

Notwithstanding the NDA’s election promise to end tax terrorism the dynamics on the ground belie easy fixes The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is seeking to prepare a road map to reduce existing tax litigation and look into increasing pecuniary threshold limits to discourage tax departments from launching new cases…. – Continue reading

Retro tax still a concern for foreign investors: John Hobster

Foreign investors are still concerned about the retrospective taxation in India, but the concerns have alleviated a little due to assurances by the government, says John Hobster, global head (transfer pricing), EY. He tells Dilasha Seth that in terms of transfer pricing, things are changing in India not only at… – Continue reading

A Wale(s) of a Tax Strategy

Companies such as Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon are well known for legally using international law to their advantage when it comes to tax. Now a small Welsh town is mimicking their tactics. Independent traders in Crickhowell are moving their businesses “offshore” to avoid paying tax. The local businesses – including… – Continue reading

Record View: Amazon morally obliged to pay up their share of tax

WHEN public spending is being slashed in a way that punishes the poor, every firm have a moral obligation to pay their fair share. AMAZON are taking an ever bigger share of the shopping market. Technological advances mean you can order something from their website late at night from your… – Continue reading

UPDATE 1-Germany wants monitoring of new regime to fight corporate tax dodging

Oct 8 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday he would propose a monitoring scheme to ensure the full implementation of a proposed system to overhaul the way international companies are taxed. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published proposals on Monday to change outdated… – Continue reading

Transfer pricing case: Vodafone gets relief from Bombay HC

The court overruled the order of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal issued last year suggesting that the income tax dept has jurisdiction in this dispute Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday ruled in favour of the Indian arm of Vodafone Group Plc. in a Rs.8,500 crore transfer pricing tax dispute…. – Continue reading

A Pig Story, Belize Banks and Questions About U.S. Tax Evaders

It’s not just about the pig’s head. Britain’s headline writers went into high porcine pun mode last month over a suggestion that Prime Minister David Cameron, while still in university, had taken part in a club-initiation ritual that bizarrely incorporated part of a pig carcass. The second-hand allegation appears in… – Continue reading

Finance ministry seeks to end high-profile tax disputes with foreign firms like Cairn India, Royal Dutch Shell

NEW DELHI: The finance ministry, seeking to build on the recent success in pitching India as an attractive destination, is looking at burying for good the remaining high-profile acrimonious tax tangles involving Cairn India and Royal Dutch Shell, which have tarnished the country’s administration. North Block is likely to replicate… – Continue reading

Steps to avert treaty abuse makes treaty access more taxing!

Tax treaties serve to reduce or eliminate double taxation which, if unrelieved, would be a significant barrier to cross-border trade and investment. At the same time, there was need felt to protect against granting of treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances. In this background, the work of the OECD and G20… – Continue reading

Shadow chancellor announces radical idea of making big businesses ‘pay their fair share of tax’

Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow chancellor has caused a stir with his idea that big businesses should pay their taxes. Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, John McDonnell named and shamed big companies over their tax arrangements. ‘Labour’s plan to balance the books will be aggressive,’ he said. ‘We will… – Continue reading