Dear taxpayer, you are about to feel the brunt of Citigroup's agreement to pay $968 million to Fannie Mae over claims it breached representations and warranties on 3.7 million residential mortgages sold to the government-sponsored enterprise between 2000 and 2012.

Or so writes Forbes contributor Robert W. Wood.

He believes the tab could be picked up by the collective whole even though the public view the settlement as a penalty. He details how it would be a surprise if the financial giant didn't deduct the settlement figure from its taxes. Because, he observes, it can.