Altria Group Inc said it will seek a further review of a federal jury verdict against it that threw out $24 million in tax refunds from investments in utilities and other assets.
The largest U.S. tobacco company argued its investments in two power plants, a wastewater treatment facility and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority rail yard entitled it to tax deduction that the previous owners had not claimed, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office for the southern district of New York.
Those investments were reported under the lease-in, lease- out (LILO) and sale-in, lease-out (SILO) tax shelters which were popular particularly in the late 1990s, representing billions of dollars in disputed tax deductions, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Altria spokesman Jack Marshall said the company believes it complied fully with the law and, will seek further review of the jury's verdict at the trial court and, if necessary, the appellate court.
Whether or not those plans included asking the judge to overturn the verdict, Marshall would not say.
Altria is not the only company in court over taxes. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service will be taking Swiss Bank UBS AG to court next week after demanding the wealth management giant disclose information on 52,000 Swiss accounts held by Americans suspected of not paying taxes.
Altria shares closed up 12 cents at $16.47 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Ian Sherr; editing by Andre Grenon)