HELSINKI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Finnish phone maker Nokia
said on Tuesday it was protesting against a tax
investigation in India, a crucial market, in the latest dispute
involving a foreign company's tax.
Nokia said it has not yet received any information on
potential claims resulting from the investigation that started
Last week, Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell's
Indian unit said it would challenge a local tax claim
on a share sale, while British mobile phone firm Vodafone
is trying to settle a long-running $2 billion tax
dispute with Indian authorities.
Countries like India are crucial for Nokia's attempt to hold
on to global market share. Earlier on Tuesday, it announced an
expansion of its Asha line of low-end smartphones and India is
widely seen as a key market for such cheaper models.
Nokia said the actions of the tax authorities were
"unacceptable and inconsistent with Indian standards of fair
play and governance."
The company objected to officials entering its factory in
Chennai, southern India, which is one of its biggest facilities.
Nokia said it has invested over $330 million in Chennai since
setting up the factory in 2006.
A senior Indian tax official said in January that the
investigation related to allegations that Nokia may have evaded
around 30 billion rupees ($558 million) in taxes.
Nokia said on Tuesday it was in full compliance with local
laws as well as a bilateral tax treaty between India and Finland
related to withholding tax.