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Nokia Case Highlights India Tax Regime Risks

Nokia Case Highlights India Tax Regime Risks

First published in Wall Street Journal CFO Journal, 28 March 2013

News that Indian tax authorities are demanding nearly $375 million from Nokia Corp. related to taxes underscores how India's tax regime can be especially troubling to foreign companies that want to do business in the world's second most populous country.

Nokia believes the tax bill, which an Indian court has stayed until further notice, relates to payments for mobile-phone software between the Finnish parent company and an Indian unit that produces Nokia devices.

Nearly 70% of the 69 CFOs recently surveyed by advisory firm Taxand said their firms had been subjected to a tax audit related to intangible assets in at least one country. Of those, 40% said they subsequently reassess their transfer-pricing strategies...

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First published in Wall Street Journal CFO Journal, 28 March 2013

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Taxand's Take

"In a complex international tax environment tax planning may only involve the simple avoidance of double taxation. Multinationals have an obligation towards shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to ensure their bottom line isn’t impacted as a result of conflicting tax arrangements when operating across borders. There remains a necessity for governments and authorities to strike the right balance by understanding the role of multinationals and their need to manage intangible portfolios across a number of jurisdictions.”

Taxand's Take Author