The Indian government is to target Vodafone in a $7bn move against tax avoiding corporations. The mobile operator will be issued a payment reminder notice after a new retroactive law overturned a court decision exempting them from paying billions of pounds worth of tax.
The behaviour of Indian regulators stands in marked contrast to HMRC, who let the telecoms company off £7bn worth of UK tax for no apparent reason. Despite a Supreme Court ruling in Vodafone’s favour, the parliament has passed a retroactive amendment to tax laws to plug the loophole.
The $7bn amendment won’t hit Vodafone alone, though they are the highest profile affected company set to be hit with a bill. Their $3.6 bill dates from 2007, when they took over Indian interests in Hong Kong based company Hutchinson Whampoa. Since then they have battled the Indian government through the courts, in a scandal that led to the company’s top lawyer quitting.
Where India targets corporations, George Osborne targets charities.