HSBC Dis­closes Tax Eva­sion Probes in In­dia, Other Coun­tries

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More -

Lon­don | New Delhi: Global bank­ing gi­ant HSBC has dis­closed be­ing probed by tax author­i­ties in In­dia and sev­eral other coun­tries, in­clud­ing against its Swiss and Dubai units, for al­legedly abet­ting tax eva­sion of four In­di­ans and their fam­i­lies.

Be­sides, the bank has been ap­proached by the reg­u­la­tory and law en­force­ment agen­cies of var­i­ous coun­tries for in­for­ma­tion on per­sons and en­ti­ties named in the leaked ‘ Panama Pa­pers’ — which in­cluded hun­dreds of In­di­ans who had in­dulged in alleged tax vi­o­la­tions through off­shore tax havens with the help of Pana­ma­nian law firm Mos­sack Fon­seca.

Dis­clos­ing the “taxre­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tions” in its lat­est an­nual re­port pub­lished last week, HSBC fur­ther said it has set aside $773 mil­lion (over .₹ 5,000 crore) as a pro­vi­sion for var­i­ous tax and money laun­der­ing-re­lated mat­ters.

“There are many fac­tors that may af­fect the range of out­comes, and the re­sult­ing fi­nan­cial im­pact of th­ese in­ves­ti­ga­tions and re­views. Due to un­cer­tain­ties and lim­i­ta­tions of th­ese es­ti­mates, the ul­ti­mate penal­ties could dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from the amount pro­vided,” HSBC said.

“Var­i­ous tax ad­min­is­tra­tions, reg­u­la­tory and law en­force­ment author­i­ties around the world, in­clud­ing in the US, France, Bel­gium, Ar­gentina and In­dia, are con­duct­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions of HSBC Swiss Pri­vate Bank and other HSBC com­pa­nies in con­nec­tion with al­le­ga­tions of tax eva­sion or tax fraud,” it said.

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