BB&T Corp.'s use of an offshore-tax enterprise could cost the company nearly $1 billion.

After being challenged by the Internal Revenue Service over taxes paid between 2002 and 2007, BB&T in recent weeks agreed to pay a tax liability totaling $890 million.

BB&T, of Winston-Salem, N.C., first disclosed the tax bill last month in its annual report. It said that in February it had received a so-called statutory notice of deficiency, which is a demand for past-due taxes. Company officials said they will fight to get the money back but they are making the payment to avoid high interest charges.

BB&T did not offer details in the annual report about the offshore-tax transaction. On Wednesday at a bank conference, BB&T Chief Executive Kelly King said his company and "several other institutions" had used a structure now being challenged by the IRS.

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