Symantec Settles One Tax Bill, but a Larger One Looms

The security and data storage vendor agrees to pay $36 million to settle an outstanding IRS claim, but a whopping $900 million tax bill is still hanging over the company's head.

Security and data storage software powerhouse Symantec has agreed to pay $36 million to settle an outstanding Internal Revenue Service tax claim, but a bigger bill related to its acquisition of Veritas is still hanging over the companys head.

Symantec June 9 announced that the $36 million settlement takes care of a tax bill that followed an IRS audit of its 2003 and 2004 fiscal years. The original IRS claim was for $100 million.

The Cupertino, Calif., company expects to finalize the settlement by the end of June.

In a regulatory statement filed April 17, Symantec said the IRS is demanding roughly $900 million in taxes related to an audit of Veritas, which marketed enterprise data backup software before being snapped up by Symantec.

Symantec is appealing that claim, which stems from the 2000 and 2001 tax years for Veritas.

The Veritas tax notice is yet another twist in Symantecs acquisition of the data storage vendor. The acquisition was aimed at broadening the companys products beyond its core anti-virus business, but it drew immediate questions from Wall Street about Symantecs ability to swallow the company.

The fallout following the deal has made headlines and hurt the companys stock price. In February, former Veritas Chief Executive Gary Bloom left his position as chairman and president of Symantec, as did several other high-profile Symantec executives, most notably Greg Myers, the companys former chief financial officer.


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