India’s Supreme Court has ruled that Vodafone isn’t liable to pay taxes on its acquisition of Hutchison Essar in 2007. The country’s tax authorities had claimed a total of around £2.8 billion was due in taxes and penalties.
This appeal in the Supreme Court followed a High Court defeat for Vodafone in 2010.
The original deal saw Vodafone’s subsidiary in the Netherlands buying a stake in Hutchison from a Cayman Islands company.
Vodafone has issued a short statement that says “Vodafone Group has received the judgment of the Indian Supreme Court. The Court has concluded that Vodafone had no liability to account for withholding tax on its acquisition of interests in Hutchison Essar Limited (now Vodafone India Limited) in 2007.”
New tax laws in India are expected in 2013; these would make similar transactions taxable within the country.