No 'rash job' will be done in Vodafone tax case: CBDT chief says

CBDTTax officials will not do a "rash job" on Vodafone tax issue as it needs due diligence, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairperson Poonam Kishore Saxena said.

On October 22, 2010, the I-T Department had determined a tax liability of Rs 11,218 crore (including interest) on Vodafone for its acquisition of Hutchinson's stake in Hutch-Essar in a deal that was hit in the Cayman Islands in the year of 2007. However, that order was quashed by the Supreme Court of India in January 2012. Later, the government made the required amendment in the Income Tax Act with retrospective effect to drag such deals under tax network.

Saxena said they would advance in the case only after taking the Supreme Court ruling as well as legal opinions into account. She added that much due meticulousness has to be done by assessing officer as the amount of taxes involved was not small.

Speaking on the topic, she said, “They (I-T assessing officers) are not going to act rashly. The amount of taxes involved is not small and therefore much due diligence has to be done by him (Assessing Officer)...”

She also refused to give a precise time line for action by the officer assessing the case.

Saxena comments came around a week after Finance minister P Chidambaram said that no rash action would be taken in the case of Vodafone tax issue, and that the matter would be determined after considering all relevant aspects including Shome Committee’s recommendations on indirect transfer of assets.

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