Symantec pays $36 million in tax spat

Tax bill is still less than the IRS had asked for. But the security company's not off the hook yet.

Security software maker Symantec has reached a $36 million settlement in a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service.

In April, Symantec said the agency had hit it with a bill for more taxes for 2003 and 2004. The IRS said the company had underpriced the value it assigned to a technology license at its Irish subsidiary. At the time, Symantec said it believed that it had paid all appropriate taxes for those fiscal tax years, but the IRS contended that it owed $100 million.

The Cupertino, Calif., company said on Friday that it expects to finalize the cash settlement later this month. It noted that the amount will be reflected in earnings for its fiscal first quarter, which ends in June.

However, Symantec has another separate case outstanding with the IRS.

Veritas Software, a storage specialist acquired by Symantec last year, faces a similar dispute involving its own Irish subsidiary for the 2001 and 2000 tax years. The amount under dispute is a whopping $900 million.

Symantec, as Veritas' new owner, plans to file a formal appeal later this month with the U.S. tax court, a company representative said.

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