ChevronTexaco Seeks $118 Million Refund Check from IRS

The ChevronTexaco Corp. says Texaco Inc. overpaid its federal income taxes and is suing the Internal Revenue Service for a $118.6 million refund.

Texaco, which was bought by Chevron to form ChevronTexaco in 2001, said in court papers that it should have received tax deductions for some settlement payments it made under a 1988 consent order. The order settled the U.S. Department of Energy’s claim that Texaco had charged more for crude petroleum and refined petroleum products than federal price regulations allowed from 1973 to 1981.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, contends the tax deductions would have reduced Texaco’s tax liability, and the company is seeking refunds for 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992, Reuters reported.

Court papers say the taxes were "erroneously and illegally assessed and collected," along with interest. The suit seeks $42.67 million for 1988; $26.48 million for 1990; $13.70 million for 1991; and $35.94 million for 1992.

Texaco filed returns in 2001 seeking the refunds, but the IRS rejected the claims in 2002, saying that Texaco should seek legal action in federal court for recovery of any taxes. Neither side would comment on pending litigation.

ChevronTexaco, based on San Ramon, Calif., is the second-biggest U.S. oil company. It reported a net income of $1.13 billion in 2002 on revenues of $98.69 billion.

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