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Vodafone decision will be taken by IT dept. post GAAR report: FM

PTI  New Delhi, September 17, 2012
First Published: 20:38 IST(17/9/2012) | Last Updated: 20:41 IST(17/9/2012)

Finance minister P Chidambaram today said the Income Tax Department will take a decision on the Vodafone taxation issue after the Shome Committee gives its report on General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR).

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Talking to reporters, he said the decision whether to send another notice to the British telecom major will be taken by the concerned Assessing Officer in the back drop of amendment to the Income Tax Act, Supreme Court judgment in the Vodafone case and the opinion of the Attorney General on the issue.

"Section 119 today is part of the law. We said that there is a judgment in the Supreme Court, there is Section 119 and there is the opinion of the AG. It is for the assessing officer (AO) to take all this into account before deciding the next step," added Chidambaram.

The Finance minister further said, "Whether another notice is required or not, its for him to decide. But in the meanwhile, he will also take note of the fact that we have referred this question to the Shome Committee and the Shome Committee will give its report shortly."

The Income Tax Department on October 22, 2010 passed an order determining a tax liability (including interest) of Rs. 11,218 crore on Vodafone on the acquisition of Hutchinson's stake in Hutch-Essar through a deal in the Cayman Islands in 2007.

The Supreme Court, however, quashed the order in January this year. After the apex court's ruling, the Income Tax Act was amended with retrospective effect to bring such deals into the tax net.

Section 119 of the Finance Act, 2012, seeks to validate the October 2010 order of the Income Tax Department. The Department had also passed an order imposing a penalty of Rs. 7,900 crore on Vodafone in April, 2011.

The Parthasarathi Shome committee was set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July to address concerns of foreign and domestic investors on GAAR. The panel has already submitted a draft report.

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