Caterpillar announces $740 million settlement with the IRS

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In a press release dated October 27, 2022, Caterpillar announced that a $740 million settlement had been reached with the IRS related to tax issues for FY 2007 through 2016.


In the third quarter of 2022, the company reached a settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that resolves all issues for tax years 2007 through 2016, without any penalties. The company’s settlement includes, among other issues, the resolution of disputed tax treatment of profits earned by Caterpillar SARL (CSARL) from certain parts transactions. The company vigorously contested the IRS’s application of the “substance-over-form” or “assignment-of-income” judicial doctrines and its proposed increases to tax and imposition of accuracy related penalties. The settlement does not include any increases to tax in the United States based on those judicial doctrines and does not include any penalties. The final tax assessed by the IRS for all issues under the settlement was $490 million for the ten-year period. This amount was primarily paid in the third quarter of 2022, and the associated estimated interest of $250 million is expected to be paid by the end of 2022. The settlement was within the total amount of gross unrecognized tax benefits for uncertain tax positions and enables us to avoid the costs and burdens of further disputes with the IRS. As a result of the settlement, the company recorded a discrete tax benefit of $41 million to reflect changes in estimates of prior years’ taxes and related interest, net of tax. The company is subject to the continuous examination of our income tax returns by the IRS, and tax years subsequent to 2016 are not yet under examination.


Previously, in a letter dated 28. April 2021, the US Senate Committee on Finance requested records related to tax schemes involving Caterpillar and Renaissance Technologies.

“In 2015, Caterpillar disclosed that a federal grand jury in Illinois had begun investigating an alleged tax scheme involving the company’s Swiss subsidiary. This investigation led to raids by federal agents on three different Caterpillar offices in March 2017. 4 Days after the raids, Caterpillar announced it retained Mr. Barr “to take a fresh look at Caterpillar’s disputes with the government, get all the facts, and then help us bring these matters to proper resolution based on the merits.” Since January 2018, the IRS has sought to recover $2.3 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties from Caterpillar in connection with the alleged tax practices. Alarmingly, just six days after Mr. Barr was nominated to serve as Attorney General, an inspector general agent at the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was reportedly instructed by the DOJ tax division and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General “that no further action was to be taken on the [Caterpillar] matter until further notice.”



Press Release dated October 27, 2022


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