Altria to pay $971 million in taxes, interest to IRS

Reuters) - Altria Group Inc MO.N said it will pay $971 million in taxes and interests to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to settle a dispute over the company's tax returns for the years 2000 through 2003.

About $946 million of the payment is related to certain leveraged leasing transactions entered into by Altria’s wholly owned unit, Philip Morris Capital Corp, in the 1996 through 2003 taxable years.

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes and Skoal smokeless tobacco will make the payment in the third quarter, it said in a regulatory filing.

The largest U.S. tobacco company said will not revise its 2010 earnings outlook as a result of these matters, it said.

Shares of the company closed at $20.12 in regular session on the New York Stock Exchange.