IRS Nails Symantec With $1B Tax Bill

    April 18, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Symantec apparently underreported the value of transfers it made of intellectual property to a pair of foreign subsidiaries after its purchase of Veritas.

A Form 8-K filed with the SEC on Monday said Symantec owes additional taxes, plus interest and penalties, for the 2000 and 2001 tax years based on an audit of backup software provider Veritas, which Symantec acquired last July.

At the end of March, Symantec received another notice of an unrelated audit that also found problems, this time with Symantec, for the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years. Symantec has disputed the IRS finding as “inconsistent with applicable tax laws and existing Treasury regulations, and that its previously reported income tax provision for the years in question is appropriate.”

The IRS does not agree, and has slapped Symantec with a bill for $900 million over the Veritas investigation. The Symantec audit resulted in another $100 million being added to the tally, for a total of $1 billion dollars. Those amounts do not include interest and penalties the IRS could charge on top of the bills.

A report by IDG News Service said Symantec and Veritas set up subsidiaries in Ireland, and the transfers in question took place to those subsidiaries. Symantec plans to appeal the decision:

The Company does not agree with the IRS position and plans to continue to contest these claims in its discussions with the IRS. Any additional taxes in excess of the provision for these matters would be reported as an expense in the period that payment is probable.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.