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Facebook, IRS Summer Tax Trial Canceled Due to Pandemic

March 27, 2020, 1:22 PM

Facebook Inc.'s Washington trial set for June in its tax battle with the IRS is now canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an order filed at the U.S. Tax Court.

The San Francisco portion of the trial wrapped earlier this month. The order comes after the Tax Court in Washington announced it would close until further notice and cancel trials as needed amid the outbreak of Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

The trial was set for the weeks of June 1 and June 22 in Washington.

The dispute stems from a tax bill related to the value of intangible assets, such as trademarks and technology, that Facebook shifted to Ireland a decade ago for marketing and other services. The IRS argues that those intangibles were worth more than what Facebook claimed. If the IRS wins the case, Facebook could owe up to $9 billion in taxes.

Andrew Crousore and Scott Frewing, partners at Baker & McKenzie LLP and counsel for Facebook, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The case is Facebook, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C., No. 021959-16, order 3/26/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colleen Murphy in Washington at cmurphy@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Sony Kassam at skassam1@bloombergtax.com