Govt moves SC to attach Nokia’s property

Nokia had earlier approached the apex court against the High Court verdict

nokia-tax-caseIn a significant development in the Nokia tax case, the Indian income Tax department has moved the Supreme Court demanding attachment of the handset maker’s property in the country.

The IT department has demanded a payment of Rs 3,800 crore citing Nokia’s tax liabilities in the country.

Earlier the Indian arm of the Finnish handset maker had approached the apex court against the Delhi High Court order where the court had said Nokia has to furnish guarantee letter from its parent company. However, the company had approached the apex court against this verdict saying the company should not have to submit a guarantee from its parent company.

The case is related to Nokia’s tax liabilities in the wake of the Finnish company’s asset transfer to Microsoft after the latter acquired the handset maker.

The High Court had said that the asset transfer will be allowed only after fulfilling of two conditions. One, submission of a bank guarantee by Nokia and two, furnishing of a letter of guarantees by its parent company in Finland.

After Nokia India approached the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict, the tax department has sought the apex court’s intervention in attachment of the mobile phone maker’s India assets.

The tax department is now saying that Nokia has to fulfill six conditions to allow the transfer of assets.  Among the six conditions, the major demands  include deposition of around Rs 3862 crore for the present tax liabilities including interest, Rs 5000 crore should be deposited by Nokia in an escrow account and another Rs 3500 crore, which were paid by Nokia India by way of dividend to Nokia Finland should be brought back into the country.

When contacted a Nokia India spokesperson said it would not be wise to comment about its future course of action as the case is being heard in Supreme Court.

“The case is being heard today in the Supreme Court and we will be in a position to comment only after the verdict comes out,” the Nokia spokesperson said.

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