• Washington federal court says Starr lawsuit will go forward
  • Starr International seeking IRS refund over 2007 taxes

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr International Co. can move forward with a lawsuit claiming the U.S. owes it a $38 million tax refund.

A Washington federal judge on Friday rejected government claims that the reason for denying the refund can’t be second-guessed by the court.

Starr sued the U.S. last year, claiming the government wrongly denied its request for a tax break on 2007 dividend income after Greenberg moved the company from Ireland to Switzerland.

But the government gave the company a $21 million refund on 2008 taxes -- and then called that decision an error in court papers filed in January. The U.S. asked the court to dismiss Starr’s claim, claiming the question was one of agency discretion that couldn’t be reviewed by a court.

The case is Starr International Co. v. U.S., 14-cv-01593, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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