India, Mongolia win cases on tax-free diplomatic properties

August 18th, 2010 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Aug 18 (DPA) A US court has ruled that India and Mongolia do not have to pay property tax on permanent housing for their diplomats, which was a blow to New York City’s efforts to collect $47 million, news reports said Wednesday.
Those two countries, like many other foreign missions accredited to the UN, have refused to pay taxes and interest on diplomatic properties and housing for diplomats. The city has been trying for years to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign missions, and won in the past against Turkey and the Philippines.

The Second US Court of Appeals late Tuesday ruled in favour of India’s and Mongolia’s lawsuits fighting tax collectors. New York City claimed Mongolia owed $4.4 million since the 1980s and India owed nearly $43 million since 1991.

News reports said a decision by the US State Department in 2009 to confer tax exemption to foreign governments and living quarters for diplomats helped Tuesday’s ruling. The cases for Turkey and the Philippines took place before 2009.

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