Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Taxing Times for Pulitzer Inc

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Taxing Times for Pulitzer Inc

Article excerpt

IRS seeks millions for 1998 deal

$29.4 million in all could be at stake

More than two years after the then-Pulitzer Publishing Co. sold its TV and radio properties to Hearst- Argyle Television Inc. and spun off its newspapers to form a new company, the Internal Revenue Service is claiming Pulitzer Inc. owes nearly $30 million in taxes on the deal.

Pulitzer says the spinoff actually yielded a loss, and that the IRS is, in effect, moving the goal posts to establish a taxable gain. "If we measure the value [of the spinoff] on the date of the transaction, we get one value, and if we measure the value as of one day later, we get a much different value," said Alan G. Silverglat, Pulitzer's senior vice president-finance. "Their own regulations stipulate [value should be measured] on the day of [a transaction] rather than the day after."

Pulitzer said the IRS formally proposed in October that the taxable amount of the deal should be about $80. …

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