The Internal Revenue Service may have handed U.S. pulp and paper companies a multibillion-dollar gift by ruling that black liquor produced in 2009 is eligible for an even more lucrative tax credit than the one claimed by manufacturers last year.
The June 28 ruling contradicts previous guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency that the molasses-like pulp byproduct could not qualify for Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Credits (CBPC) because it is not a motor-vehicle fuel or fuel additive. The new IRS ruling does not allow the same black liquor to receive both the original black liquor credits ("alternative fuel mixture") and CBPCs, the so-called Son of Black Liquor tax credits.
The exact impact of the ruling is unclear, but in theory it is be worth more than $10 billion to U.S. companies.
Publicly traded U.S. companies received more than $6.5 billion in black liquor tax credits last year by exploiting a loophole in legislation designed to subsidize "green" fuels. Privately held companies probably qualified for at least another $2 billion.
Please continue reading this article here...