Caterpillar says compliant with tax laws after IRS claim

Image: The CAT logo is seen on the back of a Caterpillar machine on a lot at Milton CAT in North Reading, Massachusetts January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

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(Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc  said on Friday it was compliant with tax laws, a week after federal law enforcement officials raided three of the company’s buildings in connection with a probe into the heavy machinery manufacturer’s offshore tax practices.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has challenged the company’s taxes for the years 2007-2012, the company said in a statement on Friday.

“We disagree with the IRS’ position, have cooperated for requests for information,” Caterpillar said.

A New York Times article on Tuesday said a report commissioned by the United States government accused the company of carrying out tax and accounting fraud.

“I believe that the company’s noncompliance with these rules was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price. These actions were fraudulent rather than negligent,” said Leslie Robinson, an accounting professor and the author of the report, according to the New York Times article.

Caterpillar said it had received the report on Thursday and was reviewing it.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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