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U.S. Senate panel to hold hearing on Caterpillar offshore taxes

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[March 25, 2014]  WASHINGTON (Reuters)  A U.S. Senate subcommittee known for investigating corporate tax avoidance said on Monday it will hold a hearing on April 1 to examine the offshore tax strategies of Caterpillar Inc, the world's largest mining and construction equipment maker.

Witnesses at the hearing will include officials from Caterpillar and Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which gave the company tax advice, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a statement.

The names of specific individuals slated to testify will be announced on Friday, according to the statement from the subcommittee, which is chaired by Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.

Levin is expected to release a report on Caterpillar's taxes to coincide with the hearing. "The subcommittee will continue its examination of the structures and methods employed by multinational corporations to allocate income outside of the United States," the panel statement said.

Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar has been cooperating with the committee's investigation, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

"We look forward to a meaningful and respectful conversation with the senators," said company spokeswoman Rachel Potts.

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The subcommittee will probe advice that PwC gave Caterpillar during the late 1990s and early 2000s in connection with a corporate reorganization, a PwC spokeswoman said in a statement.

The reorganization recommended by PwC and an unidentified law firm was "was fully compliant with U.S. international tax laws," PwC spokeswoman Maggie O'Donovan-Bolton said on Monday.

(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Ken Wills)

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