India, Finland to review Nokia dispute, tax treaty

Indian finance ministry officials will meet their Finland counterparts next week to discuss Finnish handset maker Nokia's tax dispute over its Indian operations, ahead of the impending takeover of Nokia's mobile phone operations by US software giant Microsoft Corp.

The two sides will also review their double taxation avoidance treaty.

''Two officials from India's finance ministry and two officials from Finland's finance ministry will meet next week in Delhi and review the India-Finland tax treaty and discuss the Nokia tax case,'' reports quoting a top Finnish government official said.

Nokia is fighting a tax dispute with India's Income Tax Department, and the matter has reached the Delhi High Court. Nokia has offered to pay a minimum deposit of Rs2,250 crore out of an alleged total tax liability of nearly Rs6,500 crore, but the I-T department has told the court that the offer is not acceptable.

Nokia had moved the Delhi High Court seeking lifting of a stay on transfer of its Indian assets, contending that the injunction will jeopardise the sale of its Indian arm to Microsoft.

The matter has been listed for 9 December, when Nokia has to give details of its assets and liabilities as well as how much tax it has paid in India.