Indian court says no to Vodafone claim for $629m tax refund
Vodafone, the UK group that owns 50% of troubled Indian operator Vodafone Idea, has lost a case before the Supreme Court for a tax refund dating back to 2014-2018.
The court dismissed Vodafone’s appeal against an earlier ruling which backed a decision by India’s tax authorities to hold back 40m rupees in a refunds.
But the court did ask the Income Tax department to pay back the equivalent of $97 million within four weeks, though the tax department may still appeal. That covers the tax year 2014-15.
However, Vodafone Idea still owes 510 million rupees ($6.8 million), thanks to a ruling on so-called adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which has been supported by the Supreme Court in a long-running dispute. The court last month also opposed a proposal for the Indian government to aid troubled operators.
Last month India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) estimated Bharti Airtel’s AGR dues sit around $4.97 billion, while Vodafone-Idea’s stand at $7.40 billion.
The court said that, apart from the single order of a refund, it saw “no merit in any of the contentions advanced by [Vodafone]”.