Coca-Cola Co. received notice from the Internal Revenue Service that it owes about $3.3 billion in extra taxes, plus interest, becoming the latest global company to clash with the agency over profits booked in foreign countries.
The IRS’s move follows an audit of the tax years 2007 through 2009, Coca-Cola said in a regulatory filing posted Friday. The IRS hasn’t demanded any penalties, and the beverage giant said it believes the assessment is without merit. The agency told Coca-Cola that the matter has been brought to the IRS’s top lawyer with the recommendation that it be litigated, according to the filing.
Coca-Cola is one of several large American corporations to get embroiled with the IRS over profits recorded in foreign countries, which critics say can unfairly shield money from U.S. taxes. The IRS also is fighting with Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. on their intracompany transactions. Coca-Cola’s dispute centers on licensing of properties to foreign-based businesses, which manufacture, distribute and sell products.