A U S Senate investigate panel is examining Caterpillar and whether the company improperly avoided U S taxes by moving profits outside the country, according to a report Friday at Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg cites sources familiar with the probe but who spoke on the condition of anonymity before an official announcement. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hold a hearing in early April, according to the news report. Rachel Potts, a spokeswoman for Caterpillar declined to comment and a spokesman for chairman Carl Levin also declined to comment, according to Bloomberg. In 2009, the article says an employee who had worked on Caterpillar's tax strategy alleged in a federal lawsuit the company used a "Swiss structure" to shift profits to offshore companies and avoid more than $2 billion in U.S. taxes. He also alleged Caterpillar used a "Bermuda structure" involving shell companies to return profits to the U.S. without paying required taxes. The lawsuit was settled according to court filings, Bloomberg said. The company denied the allegations.
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