Tuesday, June 1, 2010

U.S. tobacco giant to pay I.R.S. $971 million

The nation’s largest tobacco company and parent company of Phillip Morris, Altria Group, will pay $971 million to resolve a dispute with the I.R.S. over leasing transactions from 2000 to 2003.

Duff Wilson for The New York Times reports that “in recent years, the I.R.S. has challenged the decisions of some companies to accelerate tax deductions on certain leasing transactions between nonprofit and profit-making entities.” This particular payment concerns the depreciation of leveraged leases.

A tobacco industry analyst at Morgan Stanley told the Times that Altria previously paid about $150 million to resolve a similar tax issue pertaining to 1996-1999, and also expects to pay around $900 million for a 2004-2009 tax liability.