India Tax Authorities Target Shell for $2.8 billion
India Tax Authorities Target Shell .
By SAURABH CHATURVEDI And KHUSHITA VASANT
MUMBAI—The Indian unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDSA.LN -2.11%Saturday said it is in talks with tax authorities in India over alleged tax evasion.
Business newspaper Mint, citing a person familiar with the matter, Saturday said India's income tax department had charged Shell India with underpricing a share transfer within the group by 150 billion rupees ($2.8 billion) and consequently evading taxes.
Citing television channel ET Now, the report added that the matter relates to the issue of 870 million shares by Shell India to overseas company Shell Gas BV in March 2009.
The shares were issued at 10 rupees each. India's income tax department challenged the valuation, saying the shares should have been priced at 180 rupees, according to the ET Now report.
"Shell India tax experts have indeed been in discussions with the Indian tax authorities on this issue over the past week and do not agree with their views," a spokesman for Shell India said.
He added that a tax officer has made an assessment and given Shell India an order. "We will review the order and initiate consequent appropriate actions."
Officials at India's finance ministry, under whose purview the income tax department falls, couldn't be reached for comment.