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Ford Gets New Court Hearing on $445 Million Interest Bid

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. will get a new hearing in its bid to collect $445 million in interest on overpaid taxes, as the U.S. Supreme Court told a lower court to take a fresh look at the case.

A federal appeals court had upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s method of calculating the interest owed to Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker.

The Supreme Court today told the appeals court to consider whether Ford’s bid for interest should have been filed in a different court.

The fight stems from money Ford deposited with the IRS to cover possible underpayments for nine tax years from 1983 to 1994. Ford later requested that the IRS treat the money as advance payments toward any additional taxes the automaker might owe. The agency eventually decided that Ford had overpaid its taxes for those years.

Ford contends that the interest on the overpayments should have begun to accrue when the company deposited the money. The IRS says the starting date should be when Ford told the agency to treat the money as advance payments. Two lower courts agreed with the IRS.

The case is Ford v. United States, 13-113.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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