Vodafone's Indian tax case win has important implications for US multinationals

January 2012


The Indian Supreme Court issued its decision in the landmark Vodafone case on January 20, concluding that India should not tax Vodafone on the sale of a foreign company's shares outside that country, even though the transaction involved an indirect transfer of an underlying Indian company. The Court considered, and opined on, various arguments relating to strategic tax planning as opposed to tax avoidance, substance over form, and -- most importantly for U.S. multinationals -- the ability of Indian tax authorities to "look through" structures with the objective of taxing transactions in India.

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