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Senator calls for probe of BP tax plans

danarhea

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(Reuters) - A senator from Florida called on Wednesday for a congressional inquiry into BP Plc's plan to use losses from the Gulf oil spill to reap $10 billion in tax benefits.
Senator Bill Nelson said he wants a probe into whether BP, which announced on Tuesday a $32 billion charge linked to the clean-up, will be deducting legal expenses related to nondeductible fines and penalties, and whether BP should deduct the full cost of its $20 billion cleanup fund.
Article is here.

But wait! There is more.

On the House floor, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) just said he will introduce legislation that would prevent oil companies from claiming a tax deduction for oil spill expenses. Engel did not give details on the legislation, but I’ve put a call into his office to get a copy of the bill.
OK, I am not a big fan of BP. In fact, I would like nothing more than to see BP pay the price for it's recklessness. But come on, fair is fair.

1) BP is taking advantage of the same tax code that everybody else uses for when they are hit a loss. Why should it be different for BP?

2) Also, if Congress now passes a special rule to deny BP the same right that everbody else has, it would be unconstitutional....

The Constitution of the United States of America said:
No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
What doesn't Congress understand about that?

For these 2 reasons, I am against denying the right of BP to take this tax credit, even though they probably don't deserve to. Like I said, fair is fair. And an investigation, just because BP is claiming the same thing that everybody else would have the right to claim, is preposterous. For those who disagree with me on this, let me ask you. If they can do this to BP, don't you think they could do it to you, if you were in their political gunsight?

Discussion?
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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Article is here.

But wait! There is more.



OK, I am not a big fan of BP. In fact, I would like nothing more than to see BP pay the price for it's recklessness. But come on, fair is fair.

1) BP is taking advantage of the same tax code that everybody else uses for when they are hit a loss. Why should it be different for BP?

2) Also, if Congress now passes a special rule to deny BP the same right that everbody else has, it would be unconstitutional....



What doesn't Congress understand about that?

For these 2 reasons, I am against denying the right of BP to take this tax credit, even though they probably don't deserve to. Like I said, fair is fair. And in investigation, just because BP is claiming the same thing that everybody else would have the right to claim, is preposterous. For those who disagree with me on this, let me ask you. If they can do this to BP, don't you think they could do it to you, if you were in their political gunsight?

Discussion?
It's stupid and they're just playing to the populist outrage.
Hopefully it won't be passed.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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United States Constitution

Article 1, Section 8:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

BP can take advantage of tax law current at the time the loss was incurred.

I've a MUCH BIGGER problem with Congress violating the Constitution to punish people than with people taking advantage of loopholes in an excessively complex law the Congress passed to give advantage to their friends while tying others in knots.
 

danarhea

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United States Constitution

Article 1, Section 8:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

BP can take advantage of tax law current at the time the loss was incurred.

I've a MUCH BIGGER problem with Congress violating the Constitution to punish people than with people taking advantage of loopholes in an excessively complex law the Congress passed to give advantage to their friends while tying others in knots.
That's actually sec. 9, which I put in my OP. Here is the link.
 

Kernel Sanders

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Article is here.

But wait! There is more.



OK, I am not a big fan of BP. In fact, I would like nothing more than to see BP pay the price for it's recklessness. But come on, fair is fair.

1) BP is taking advantage of the same tax code that everybody else uses for when they are hit a loss. Why should it be different for BP?

2) Also, if Congress now passes a special rule to deny BP the same right that everbody else has, it would be unconstitutional....



What doesn't Congress understand about that?

For these 2 reasons, I am against denying the right of BP to take this tax credit, even though they probably don't deserve to. Like I said, fair is fair. And an investigation, just because BP is claiming the same thing that everybody else would have the right to claim, is preposterous. For those who disagree with me on this, let me ask you. If they can do this to BP, don't you think they could do it to you, if you were in their political gunsight?

Discussion?
I think that a probe to make sure the multi-billion deduction is being handled properly and that everything being deducted is deductible is perfectly reasonable. As for the second article, I see nothing wrong there either. Nothing in the article at all indicates that the bill either targets BP specifically (it sounds like it applies to all oil spills), or that it would be applied retroactively to this spill (which, as any highschooler who pays attention in class knows, would be unconstitutional). So unless you have other information, I don't know why you would think it's either a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law.
 

danarhea

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I think that a probe to make sure the multi-billion deduction is being handled properly and that everything being deducted is deductible is perfectly reasonable. As for the second article, I see nothing wrong there either. Nothing in the article at all indicates that the bill either targets BP specifically (it sounds like it applies to all oil spills), or that it would be applied retroactively to this spill (which, as any highschooler who pays attention in class knows, would be unconstitutional). So unless you have other information, I don't know why you would think it's either a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law.
It's still ex-post-facto, which is unconstitutional.
 

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I think that a probe to make sure the multi-billion deduction is being handled properly and that everything being deducted is deductible is perfectly reasonable. As for the second article, I see nothing wrong there either. Nothing in the article at all indicates that the bill either targets BP specifically (it sounds like it applies to all oil spills), or that it would be applied retroactively to this spill (which, as any highschooler who pays attention in class knows, would be unconstitutional). So unless you have other information, I don't know why you would think it's either a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law.
Congress has got enough to do without taking over Internal Revenue Service responsibilities. Ridiculous.
 

apdst

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I think that a probe to make sure the multi-billion deduction is being handled properly and that everything being deducted is deductible is perfectly reasonable. As for the second article, I see nothing wrong there either. Nothing in the article at all indicates that the bill either targets BP specifically (it sounds like it applies to all oil spills), or that it would be applied retroactively to this spill (which, as any highschooler who pays attention in class knows, would be unconstitutional). So unless you have other information, I don't know why you would think it's either a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law.
The instrument used to determine that is called an IRS audit, not a congressional probe.

I believe that thinking Congress is simply making sure everyone keeps their hands above the table would take a serious suspension of reality.
 

apdst

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What evidence do you have that it's ex post facto? It will apply to future events, just like any other bill.

That's the scary part. There's no telling what kind of crap those Leftist clowns would right into that bill.

Never let a crisis go to waste. Eh?
 

Kernel Sanders

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Congress has got enough to do without taking over Internal Revenue Service responsibilities. Ridiculous.
It's a unique and extreme circumstance. Why not allocate resources and personel specifically to this presumedly enormous task?
 

Kernel Sanders

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That's the scary part. There's no telling what kind of crap those Leftist clowns would right into that bill.

Never let a crisis go to waste. Eh?
Democrats have the majority in congress, therefore one should assume that a bill will have ex post facto provisions based on the following description. Gotcha.

On the House floor, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) just said he will introduce legislation that would prevent oil companies from claiming a tax deduction for oil spill expenses. Engel did not give details on the legislation
 

obvious Child

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Senator Bill Nelson said he wants a probe into whether BP, which announced on Tuesday a $32 billion charge linked to the clean-up, will be deducting legal expenses related to nondeductible fines and penalties, and whether BP should deduct the full cost of its $20 billion cleanup fund.
This seems fair. That's a rather large expense charge. It wouldn't be hard for BP to reclassify some fines and penalties as expenses due to cleanup. A full audit of that $32 billion expense isn't a problem. Remember, the larger an account, the easier it is to hide things in. If I was BP, I'd figure out the limit of materiality and then start reclassifying non-deductible fines and penalties into clean up expenses right under that limit. And with BP's asset size, immaterial amounts are quite large.
 

apdst

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Democrats have the majority in congress, therefore one should assume that a bill will have ex post facto provisions based on the following description. Gotcha.
Did I make any claim that a Democrat bill, designed to punish BP would necessarily have ex-post-facto provisions in it?

My point, is that the Dems could--probably will--use this as a chance to hammer the **** out of all corporations. Thanks for playing.
 

jujuman13

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Article is here.

But wait! There is more.



OK, I am not a big fan of BP. In fact, I would like nothing more than to see BP pay the price for it's recklessness. But come on, fair is fair.

1) BP is taking advantage of the same tax code that everybody else uses for when they are hit a loss. Why should it be different for BP?

2) Also, if Congress now passes a special rule to deny BP the same right that everbody else has, it would be unconstitutional....



What doesn't Congress understand about that?

For these 2 reasons, I am against denying the right of BP to take this tax credit, even though they probably don't deserve to. Like I said, fair is fair. And an investigation, just because BP is claiming the same thing that everybody else would have the right to claim, is preposterous. For those who disagree with me on this, let me ask you. If they can do this to BP, don't you think they could do it to you, if you were in their political gunsight?

Discussion?
Perhaps more to the point is, do you in all honesty think they would not do this to anyone retrospectively?
 

Redress

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Did I make any claim that a Democrat bill, designed to punish BP would necessarily have ex-post-facto provisions in it?

My point, is that the Dems could--probably will--use this as a chance to hammer the **** out of all corporations. Thanks for playing.
So let me see if I understand this right...the democrats are going to do this, because some guy who has shown no understanding of what democrats believe in claims they will based solely on his sayso...
 

upsideguy

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It's stupid and they're just playing to the populist outrage.
Hopefully it won't be passed.
You are correct, just like the idea of a no-flag burning amendment to the constitution or defining marriage in the constitution. It would be nice if these guys would stop feigning outrage and just stick to practical solutions to real issues.
 
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apdst

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So let me see if I understand this right...the democrats are going to do this, because some guy who has shown no understanding of what democrats believe in claims they will based solely on his sayso...
"Never let a good crisis go to waste".

Why else would Congress feel the need to pass a bill, to put BP under a microscope, when a simple IRS audit would do the same thing?
 

Redress

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"Never let a good crisis go to waste".

Why else would Congress feel the need to pass a bill, to put BP under a microscope, when a simple IRS audit would do the same thing?
What you don't seem to understand is BP made a move of questionable legality. That is not a question "a IRS audit" can answer. Legal experts are split on it.
 

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It's a unique and extreme circumstance. Why not allocate resources and personel specifically to this presumedly enormous task?
Kernel, respectfully, Congress has many other fish to fry. Why would Congress be involved in what is so obviously an IRS responsibility....if not for the face time?
 

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What you don't seem to understand is BP made a move of questionable legality. That is not a question "a IRS audit" can answer. Legal experts are split on it.
Oh, come on. Like CONGRESS is more qualified than the IRS? Pulllleeeeze!!!!!
 

obvious Child

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What you don't seem to understand is BP made a move of questionable legality. That is not a question "a IRS audit" can answer. Legal experts are split on it.
Not sure about questionable legality. It's legal to take such deductions. But as I stated earlier, the size of the deduction does allow considerable room for BP to reclassify non-deductible fines and penalties into deductible clean up expenses. And the general 5% materiality of that expense is a whopping $1.6 billion. Which at 35% tax rate, that's $560 million in equivalent tax credits. I don't think Congress is required to get in on this, but the IRS should examine that deduction with a fine tooth comb.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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You are correct, just like the idea of a no-flag burning amendment to the constitution or defining marriage in the constitution. It would be nice if these guys would stop feigning outrage and just stick to practical solutions to real issues.
Absolutely.

Things like this have me believing that our republic is in danger.
When **** gets to the point that we try to retroactively punish people, we're going down hill.
 

Kernel Sanders

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Did I make any claim that a Democrat bill, designed to punish BP would necessarily have ex-post-facto provisions in it?
You posted this (emphasis yours)

What evidence do you have that it's ex post facto? It will apply to future events, just like any other bill.
That's the scary part. There's no telling what kind of crap those Leftist clowns would right into that bill.

Never let a crisis go to waste. Eh?
Either your post was contradicting my claim that the bill will apply to the future, meaning you were claiming it has ex post facto provisions, or you're just randomly quoting, bolding, and spewing meaningless rhetoric. I assumed the former, if the latter is true I take back what I said

My point, is that the Dems could--probably will--use this as a chance to hammer the **** out of all corporations. Thanks for playing.
So because a bill was introduced during the years when the Democrats have the majority, it will probably hammer the **** out of all corporations. Gotcha.
 
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