Finnish mobile firm Nokia, whose immovable assets were attached in an alleged tax evasion case recently by the Income Tax department may be in for more trouble with the department set to issue fresh demand notices for payment of taxes to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.
Reports say the department had also prioritised the tax demand notices on the firm pertaining to assessment years 2011-12 and 2012-13 so that the "interest of the revenue" was not jeopardised against the backdrop of the current tax litigation with the company and the proposed acquisition of the mobile-phone maker by US giant Microsoft.
PTI quoted sources privy to the tax case of Nokia as saying the firm's assets were frozen not only for the purpose of obtaining revenue with regard to the earlier demand of Rs2,080 crore, but also in connection with the forthcoming demand notices, which could be issued "as soon as assessment proceedings finish within 2013."
According to the sources the estimated fresh tax liability on the firm could be about Rs1,000 crore and the I-T procedures would be followed in this regard.
However, Nokia says that it was not aware of any such forthcoming action and it was not in a position to comment on a prospective move.
According to the firm, its longstanding policy was not to comment on market speculation, the company could say it was unaware of any such claim from the income tax authorities.
"Nokia operates with transparency in its business transactions and is committed to resolving the outstanding issues with Indian tax authorities in accordance with all applicable laws," Nokia said in a statement.
"We are, however, also ready to defend ourselves vigorously as needed," it added.
The IT department is believed to have fast-tracked the case as it involved a huge tax amount and because last time, the firm moved dividend funds without informing the tax authorities in the competent range in Chennai.
The department was therefore not taking chances, they added.
Under the provisions in the I-T Act, tax authorities had powers to keep a check on any case of potential loss of revenue via the assets of the assesse going under dispute or outside the jurisdiction of the country.
In a recent ruling the Delhi High Court restrained Nokia from selling or transferring its ownership rights in India relating to movable and immovable assets in the alleged tax evasion case.