The last leg of the tax dispute case between Nokia and the tax authorities will start on March 11, when the Supreme Court resumes hearing on the Finnish handset maker’s appeal against a Delhi High Court ruling in the cast related to the transfer of assets to the U.S software giant Microsoft.
According to lawyers and people with knowledge of the matter, the Supreme Court has asked Nokia and the tax authorities to negotiate and come up with a proposal that could suggest solutions to end the dispute.
Nokia had, last month, appealed the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court had imposed several new conditions for the transfer of Nokia’s Chennai manufacturing plant to Microsoft.
Nokia India, which is currently caught in a Rs. 21,000-crore tax dispute, needs to transfer its India assets to Microsoft as part of the impending acquisition. The Delhi High Court had, last month, asked Nokia to give a ‘simple undertaking’ in addition to depositing Rs. 2,250 crore in an escrow account.
This new condition would result in Nokia agreeing to an open-ended guarantee that the company would meet any future tax claims relating to the dispute.
This is something that is not acceptable to the Finnish company.