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Indian tax laws not conducive to M&As: PWC
September, 18th 2008

Indian tax laws are not conducive to mergers and acquisitions and restructuring of businesses, says a survey conducted by global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"As per the survey, an overwhelming majority (90 per cent) does not see existing laws as being completely tax neutral and conducive to group restructuring," PricewaterhouseCoopers Executive Director Ajay Kumar said while releasing the survey report.

The current M&A tax policies did not adequately support companies in achieving their objective of raising fund, streamlining business structures and global consolidation, he said.

There was a vast scope, he said, for the government to introduce regulations that streamlined M&A laws to make it more cost-effective and beneficial.

Besides, the survey also indicated that over 75 per cent of tax disputes arise due to differences over interpretation by companies and the tax authorities.

Indirect tax was voted as the most challenging area in the fiscal framework followed by transfer pricing, though transfer pricing was set to overtake indirect taxes in the next couple of years, he said.

As many as 70 companies across different sectors, which were part of the survey, felt that the present tax structures could be made more conducive to business growth, he added.

About 75 per cent of the respondents said that direct tax compliance had become onerous, while 54 per cent felt the same for indirect taxes.

According to Budget 2008-09, indirect tax collections are estimated at Rs 3,21,264 crore during the current fiscal, while direct tax collection target has been revised from Rs 3.65 lakh crore to about Rs 4 lakh crore.

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