High Court quashes Rs.8,500 cr tax demand on Vodafone

Mumbai : The Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed an order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal which had ruled that the IT Department had powers to raise a tax demand on telecom giant Vodafone India in a Rs.8,500 crore transfer pricing case.

In a terse statement, Vodafone India “welcomed” the high court ruling.

The transfer pricing case dates to 2008 pertaining to the sale of one of its call centre units in Ahmedabad in 2007. Vodafone had challenged the ITAT order in Bombay High Court, which was admitted by a division bench comprising Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari and Justice A. Menon.

In December 2014, the ITAT had held that the company had structured the deal with another Indian company, Hutchison Whampoa Properties, to circumvent the transfer pricing norms, and though it was an international transaction, there was no arm’s length dealing between the two related entities.

The ITAT referred the matter back to the IT Department asking it to revise the amount of tax to be recovered from Vodafone.

Ruling that the deal was structured with the intention “to circumvent” the transfer pricing provisions of the IT Act, ITAT said it was essentially an international transaction between

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