Intel Sues U.S. for $9.3 Million in Overpaid Tax Interest

Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, sued the U.S. government for $9.3 million in interest on overpaid income taxes.

The claim arises from the disparity between interest rates charged for corporate underpayments of income tax and the lower rate given for overpayments, according to a complaint filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington.

The company, based in Santa Clara, California, said it had “equivalent overpayments and underpayments of taxes” from March 2003 to August 2009, and under Internal Revenue Service rules was entitled to a net interest rate of zero.

To get to that figure, Intel “claims additional overpayment interest for its 2002 tax year,” when the company overpaid its federal income tax by $72 million, according to the complaint.

Dean Patterson, an IRS spokesman, declined to comment, saying in an e-mail that “federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing specific taxpayers.”

The IRS previously allowed an Intel net interest rate claim involving 73 tax periods, according to 2012 correspondence with the tax agency included in the suit.

The allowed claim is “voluminous,” so it wasn’t included in the correspondence, “but can be provided upon request,” according to the filing.

The case is Intel Corp. v. U.S., 13-cv-00262, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Washington).

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.