Tribune Co. appeals tax bills

The Chicago Tribune

Tribune Co. has begun to appeal an IRS notice that says the company owes taxes on its sales of the Chicago Cubs and Newsday, Robert Channick reports.

Tribune sold the properties under a Byzantine plan engineered by former owner Sam Zell. The appeals process could take years, Channick writes. The IRS has challenged the Newsday transaction and is auditing the company’s 2009 return.

If the company loses both cases, Channick writes, “that would bring the total tax bill to more than $500 million, a significant amount for Tribune Co., which emerged from Chapter 11 with about $625 million in working capital after distributions.”

Zell “has no liability for the tax bills, which stay with Tribune Co.,” Channick reports. “Efforts to reach Zell for comment were unsuccessful.”

Previously: Fortune: Tribune Co. could owe IRS more than half a billion

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