The nearly $17 billion that Brian Moynihan & co. will pay to make the albatross of Countrywide and Angelo Mozilo go away forever is actually closer to $12 billion, thanks to the tax-deductibility of ordinary business expenses like helping out underwater mortgageholders under duress ($7 billion) and compensatory matters ($4.63 billion).

Fines and penalties imposed as part of a settlement can’t be deducted, so that knocks out the $5.02 billion in fines Bank of America agreed to pay. But other amounts paid can be deducted as ordinary business expenses….

That means that up to $11.63 billion of the settlement would be deductible, depending on how much the bank incurs in costs associated with the consumer relief. With a corporate tax rate of 35%, that suggests savings of $4.07 billion.

BofA Could See $4 Billion in Tax Savings From $16.65 Billion Settlement [WSJ]

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