February 11, 2012

U.S. Paper Companies May Lose Son of Black Liquor Loophole

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is trying to close the Son of Black Liquor tax loophole that has already provided U.S. paper makers with a windfall of more than $1 billion.

The committee’s staff estimates the move would save $2.786 billion over the next four years, which Baucus would use to help pay for highway construction and other infrastructure projects. The staff has not revealed the basis for its calculation, a tricky matter because it requires assumptions about the future taxable income of more than a dozen paper companies.

“Black liquor qualified for the alternative fuel mixture [AFM] tax credit and the cellulosic biofuels tax credit,” a news release from the committee noted Friday. “Congress never intended for black liquor to qualify for these credits and, in 2010, prohibited the credit for black liquor sold or used on or after January 1, 2010. This provision would prohibit taxpayers from claiming the alternative mixture credit or the cellulosic biofuels credit on any new or amended returns made on or after February 3, 2012.”

Read more here.