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Vodafone Lines Up Pre-Conciliation Tax Talks With India

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

25 September 2013


Vodafone has said that it will begin talks with the Indian Government as it looks to bring a long running tax dispute with the authorities to an end.

Analjit Singh, who heads up the telecoms company in India, confirmed to reporters that pre-conciliation negotiations are to begin. He did not, however, provide a date.

According to India's Economic Times, a senior official, Matthew Kirk, will represent Vodafone. The Government has chosen Law Secretary P.K. Malhotra to take part.

In June, the Cabinet instructed the Finance Ministry to approach Vodafone with an offer for conciliatory talks. Vodafone pressed for more time, and appeared to be holding out hopes for the conciliation process to take place under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. The company asked last month for "informal talks" to be held in India, and the Government advised that it would appoint a representative at the earliest opportunity.

Singh did not disclose under which laws the discussions would be held. Vodafone has consistently maintained that it is not liable for a USD2.2bn bill in back taxes and penalties relating to its 2007 acquisition of Hutichson Essar. The Indian Supreme Court sided with Vodafone in 2012, but subsequent changes to the law threw the ruling into doubt.

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | tax compliance | India | tax avoidance | law | ministry of finance | tax authority | revenue statistics | penalties | telecoms

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