Stat of the day: £344m

The amount the Indian government is demanding from Vodafone over a long-running tax row

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Trouble's mounting for Vodafone. After allegedly negotiating a several-billion pound tax reprieve in the UK, it’s now being ordered to shell out £344m in advance of a legal battle in India over a £1.6bn tax bill.

The mobile phone giant has been in dispute with the Indian tax authorities since it bought a 67% stake in Hutchison Essar from Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa in 2007. Vodafone maintains it shouldn’t have to pay the tax bill as the deal was conducted overseas in the Cayman Islands, and via a Dutch subsidiary of Vodafone.

It now has three weeks to pay the sum to the Indian Supreme Court - a significantly tougher stance from the Indian authorities than the HMRC, which offered Vodafone a reprieve under its ‘time to pay’ scheme, allowing £450m of the £1.25bn owed to the British taxman to be spread over four years.

The company is rumoured to be trying to reach a settlement with the Indian authorities, although there isn't much detail. But considering the amount of http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1004002/Vodafone-rings-profits-emerging-markets-flourish/ wrangling it's had with them in the past, it might just be wise to pay up.

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