* PwC audited, provided tax advice to Nokia in India
* Probe centers on allegations of tax evasion by Nokia
* India also pressing Vodafone for disputed tax payment
By Dena Aubin
NEW YORK, Jan 17 The Indian affiliate of global accounting firm
PricewaterhouseCoopers was questioned on Thursday by tax authorities
looking into possible tax evasion by Finnish phone maker Nokia, a
spokesman for PwC confirmed.
Indian tax officials last week raided Nokia's production unit in the
southern city of Chennai, one of the company's biggest facilities.
A senior Indian tax official said the investigation related to allegations
that Nokia may have evaded around 30 billion rupees ($543 million) in taxes.
Nokia has said it was cooperating with the probe.
PwC's arm in India both audits and provides tax advice to Nokia, said Mike
Davies, a spokesman for PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. Auditor
independence standards in India allow firms to both audit and provide tax advice
to the same client, he added.
PwC's Indian affiliate has said they are fully cooperating with tax
authorities on the matter.
Newspapers in India reported last week that PwC would be called in for
questioning on the Nokia tax case.
British telecommunications carrier Vodafone Group Plc is also being
pressed for payment of $2 billion in disputed taxes in India on its 2007
acquisition of mobile telecom assets. Vodafone has insisted that
no taxes are due.
Tax disputes are becoming more common as governments around the world faced
with large deficits crack down on tax avoidance in search of new revenues.