NEW YORK — Charming Shoppes Inc. on Tuesday said it has reached an approximately $23.5 million preliminary settlement with the Internal Revenue Service stemming from an audit of its corporate-owned life insurance, or COLI, program.

In an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bensalem, Pa.-based operator of Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes said it anticipates that the cost of the settlement will include $18.5 million of income taxes and $5 million of interest, net of a $2.7 million tax benefit. Of the $18.5 million of income taxes, $16.1 million will be paid through the use of existing operating loss and tax credit carrybacks. The net cash payment under the settlement will be $7.4 million.

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