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How Sequoia Capital is trying to avoid taxes on over a billion dollars in Indian investments

Max de Haldevang
How Sequoia Capital is trying to avoid taxes on over a billion dollars in Indian investments

The Silicon Valley institution, an early investor in the likes of Apple and Google, made those Indian investments via a complex corporate structure based offshore in Mauritius, according to hundreds of leaked documents reviewed by Quartz that are known collectively as the Mauritius Leaks. Sequoia used that structure to legally avoid US and Indian taxes, says Reuven Avi-Yonah, a leading tax law professor at the University of Michigan, who inspected some of the files at Quartz’s request. A tiny former French and British colony in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius sells itself as a “gateway” to India and Africa for multinationals, offering extremely low tax rates and tax treaties with dozens of mostly poor countries.