Nokia Protests India’s Tax Claims in Regulatory Dispute

Nokia Oyj, facing a claim for unpaid taxes in India, filed letters of complaint against the authorities’ investigation, saying their actions fall short of meeting local laws and international standards.

Authorities entered factory premises and Nokia’s computer systems “without valid authorization” and questioned individual workers for “intolerably long periods of time,” Nokia said today in an e-mailed statement. It said it filed the complaints with income-tax authorities of Chennai and the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India.

Nokia, the Finnish mobile-phone maker struggling with falling sales and mounting losses at its handset unit, said last month tax officials visited its manufacturing unit in Chennai, claiming the company had failed to pay an undisclosed amount of taxes. India is seeking 130 billion rupees ($2.4 billion) from Nokia, according to an internal tax department document, said an official in Chennai who asked not to be identified because the person isn’t authorized to speak on the subject.

Nokia said today it hasn’t received any official information on the tax claim.

“We do not see any merit in any of the claims, and are ready to defend ourselves vigorously,” the Espoo, Finland-based company said in the statement.

Chennai tax authorities haven’t received letters of complaint from Nokia, according to the official.

Nokia shares were unchanged at 3.07 euros at the close of trading in Helsinki.

India’s government is also in a tax dispute with Vodafone Group Plc, saying the carrier owes $2.2 billion due to changes in tax laws applied retroactively.

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