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Microsoft Sues IRS For Details Of Law Firm Contracted To Probe Transfer Pricing
November, 25th 2014

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT: Quote) has sued the Internal Revenue Service relating to a review by them on the transfer price of goods being transferred between the software giant and its offshore subsidiaries, according to media reports on Monday. The company has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of the District of Columbia.

The IRS has been reviewing Microsoft's income tax return filings for the years 2004 to 2009. IRS had retained law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP to assist in the review. However, the firms profile says it specializes in business litigation and arbitration.

Microsoft has been seeking complete information from the IRS for nearly two months related to the reported $2.2 million contract signed in May between IRS and Quinn Emanuel to conduct the review of Microsoft's books.

Microsoft has charged the IRS of unlawfully withholding the information, and said it has not fulfilled a request under the Freedom of Information Act that sought the complete details on the Quinn Emanuel contract and other documents.

Microsoft reportedly said that government agencies, funded by citizens, have an obligation of transparency under the Freedom of Information Act.

Microsoft had revealed in a form 10-Q filing with the U.S. SEC on October 23 that it has settled a portion of the IRS audit for tax years 2004 to 2006 during the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, but still remains under audit for those years. The company added that it also continues to be subject to examination by the I.R.S. for tax years 2007 to 2013.

The IRS has been reviewing the tax filings submitted by technology companies related to the transfer pricing and how its is accounted in the books. Last year, IRS slapped Amazon with a bill for $234 million in unpaid taxes over similar procedures.

Multinational companies normally put a value for the goods and services that it moves across international borders to its international subsidiaries. IRS is checking if the companies are pricing the goods and services at a reasonable fair market rate as these mostly help in reducing the firms global tax costs.

MSFT closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $47.59, down $0.39 or 0.81% on a volume of 35.43 million shares.

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