Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Senate investigators seek details on companies' tax-cutting transactions

The Senate's Permanent Committee on Investigations has sent letters to 30 companies seeking information on certain tax-cutting transactions and arrangements, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The investigation appears to have been sparked by disclosures required by a new accounting rule known as "FIN 28."

The Journal quoted one letter as requesting the companies to "describe any United States tax position or group of similar tax positions that represents 5 percent or more of your total [unrecognized tax benefit] for the period, including in the description of each whether the tax position involved foreign entities or jurisdictions."

Senate investigators also want to know what tax professionals and law firms were involved in tax-cutting transactions on which companies spent at least $1 million for legal fees or other costs.