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SC asks Nokia to settle tax row with I-T department

A bench, headed by justice A R Dave, decided to hear the matter on March 11 after Nokia's counsel submitted there was a need for an early settlement of the tax dispute as the assets transfer to Microsoft has to take place in another two to three weeks.

twitter-logoPTI | March 3, 2014 | Updated 22:19 IST
SC asks Nokia to settle tax row with I-T department

The Supreme Court on Monday asked Nokia India Pvt Ltd to come up with a concrete proposal to settle its tax row with the income tax department.

A bench, headed by justice A R Dave, decided to hear the matter on March 11 after Nokia's counsel submitted there was a need for an early settlement of the tax dispute as the assets transfer to Microsoft has to take place in another two to three weeks.

Further, the failure to resolve it would lead to more difficulty as negotiations with the government have broken down.

It also said that its proposal to give a minimum deposit of Rs 2,25O crore towards its tax liabilities was final.

Nokia's counsel said over 35,000 jobs were created by the company in India after which the apex court observed it will have to consider the interests of the employees of Nokia also while passing the order.

Nokia India has moved the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court which asked the company to give an undertaking to fulfil the conditions relating to payment of tax dues.

The Indian arm of the Finnish handset maker has approached the apex court against the February 5 order of the High Court by which it was asked to abide by the order of December 12 last year.

While defreezing the assets of the Finnish firm in India, including in Chennai, the High Court had paved the way for their sale to Microsoft.

The court had imposed certain conditions on Nokia India and its parent firm Nokia Corporation Finland.

Nokia had pleaded before the High Court for a direction to the Income Tax department for lifting of the stay on transfer of assets, including the Chennai manufacturing plant, in view of its $7.2 billion global deal with Microsoft.

"Nokia Finland will be bound by the statement that they shall be jointly liable and shall pay tax demand determined and payable under Section 201/201(1A), interest and penalty thereon.

"Nokia Finland shall be liable to pay taxes, including penalty and interest due, and payable by them as determined under the Income Tax Act," the High Court had said.

It had also directed Nokia to deposit a minimum of Rs 2,250 crore in an escrow account.

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