India’s tax authorities are mulling whether to appeal against a Delhi High Court order to de-freeze the bank accounts of Nokia in a `2,000 crore tax dispute with the government.
Last Thursday, the Delhi High Court ordered India’s tax authorities to unfreeze bank accounts of the company, yet Nokia’s fixed assets remain frozen.
“Fixed assets such as buildings will remain frozen,” said an official from the income tax department. The official added that the department has not yet decided whether they will appeal against the Delhi High Court order about unfreezing bank accounts of the company.
Nokia insisted its business transactions have been transparent and it is working closely with tax authorities. “Last week, the Delhi High Court ruled in Nokia’s favour in a case where the Indian tax authorities froze some of Nokia’s assets for potential claims that hadn’t even been raised against the company yet…contrary to speculations, Nokia has sufficient assets in India to meet its tax obligations...,” Nokia said in a statement.
The Delhi High Court had restrained Nokia from selling or transferring its ownership rights in India relating to movable and immovable assets. The court had also asked the handset firm to inform the assessing officer two days in advance before repatriating any money abroad.
Nokia is among a string of multinationals to have become embroiled in tax disputes in India, including Cadbury, Royal Dutch Shell and Vodafone.
This year on March 21, the tax department issued a `2,000 crore demand notice to Nokia, for which the company got a stay order from the Delhi High Court.