Vodafone’s top lawyer in India has quit after being tangled up in a four-year long tax avoidance scandal. The row has seen the Indian government bullied by its biggest foreign corporate investor — but officials are not giving up on extracting $2.6bn from the company.

Executive Andre Jerome led Vodafone’s defence against the Indian government, which imposed a $2.6bn tax bill on them for the takeover of Indian mobile interests from Hong-Kong based Hutchison Whampoa in 2007. Having lost a case in the Supreme Court, officials are looking to introduce retroactive legislation to recoup the cash.

The dogged determination of Indian authorities stands in marked contrast to Britain’s HMRC, who let Vodafone off tax bills of up to £7bn after senior civil servants — such as permanent secretary Dave Hartnett — were lunched to within an inch of their lives.

On tax enforcement, Britain could learn a lot from its former colony.

  1. chris smith says:

    I think the words “get your facts straight” spring to mind !

    The dispute in simple terms is about the Indian Govt ILLEGALLY leving a tax post Vodafone investing in India … The ultimate court in India have ruled it was illegal and that should have been the end of it .. but anyone that has worked in India knows the Indian Govt behaves like this time and time gain …

    In terms of the HMRC, this service was completely run down, deskilled and populated with incompetant political appointments under New Labour .. probably why New Labour made such great use of tax dodging .. did i use the past tense ? its worse than ever on the shadow benches we have systematic property tax dodging (or flipping as it says in the MPs bible) , offshore tax dodging, and of course personal service company tax dodging (or doing a Livingstone) … we will keep that RED flag flying until its time to pay our tax as the New Labour mission statement is 😉

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