Nokia Monday said that it has not been served with “any official claim” of the Income Tax (I-T) department that has told the Delhi High Court that the mobile company owes it Rs 21,153 crore as tax liability (existing and anticipated), including penalty. The company in a statement said that in the recent months it has seen and read about many claims from the I-T department and added that these are “without merit” and it will defend itself “vigorously” in court.
“We have not been served with any official claim, so we cannot comment on this. We want to stress that our main focus right now is to remove the freeze on our Indian assets, including Chennai, before the deadline of December 12. This is a separate matter from the broader tax dispute.
“In recent months we have seen and read about many claims from the tax authorities. We feel they are without merit and will defend ourselves vigorously in court,” the statement said.
The amount payable by Nokia has been arrived at by the I-T department on the basis that the mobile manufacturing firm does not discharge its TDS liability on royalty payments and is not entitled to any deduction under tax laws for operating from a special economic zone (SEZ).
The submission has been made by the I-T department in its reply to Nokia’s plea for unfreezing of its assets in India prior to its $7.2 billion deal with Microsoft.
In case TDS liability is paid and the deduction under tax laws for operating from a SEZ is available to Nokia, then its total tax liability (existing and anticipated), including penalty would be Rs 14,200 crore, the I-T department has said.
Meanwhile, the high court adjourned the hearing on Nokia’s plea to tomorrow when the company may have to answer the court’s queries regarding the total investment made by it in India, dividend paid by it, quantum of purchases of raw materials, whether Nokia Corporation has been filing returns here and what will happen to Nokia Corp post-Microsoft deal.