U.S. Supreme Court throws out Ford tax ruling

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 2, 2013 10:04am EST

WASHINGTON Dec 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sent a $470 million tax dispute between Ford Motor Co and the Internal Revenue Service back to a lower court for further review.

The justices threw out a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the government and asked the court to take a second look at the case.

Ford had been credited for overpaying certain taxes dating back to 1983. Ford argued its overpayments were essentially a loan to the IRS that should have accrued interest.

Ford was denied a $470 million interest payment by a Michigan district court in 2010. The U.S. appeals court ruled against Ford in December 2012.

In an unsigned opinion issued on Monday, the Supreme Court said the government had raised a new argument in its legal papers that the appeals court had not had a chance to review when it decided the case.

In support of Ford's petition for a hearing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the Sixth Circuit ruling would make it easier for the government to withhold money owed to businesses.

The case is Ford Motor Co v United States, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-113.