Senator demands probe of BP tax break

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Two days after BP said it will write off the cost of the oil spill cleanup against its income taxes, a U.S. senator is calling for a Congressional probe into the company's tax plans.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee Thursday, requesting a series of hearings on the matter and calling BP's plans to take a tax write-off "unacceptable."

On Tuesday, BP said it took a $32 billion charge in the second quarter for clean-up costs, resulting in tax savings of about $10 billion.

That's half the value of the $20 billion fund that BP set up to aid Gulf coast victims, Nelson pointed out.

BP announced the charge along with its second quarter earnings, saying the cleanup costs were the main reason for its $17 billion loss during the quarter.

BP spokesman Daren Beaudo, in an email to CNN, said the company is following U.S. tax code in taking the charge.

"Taxes are paid on profits and the Gulf of Mexico spill response costs have reduced BP's US profits -- so it follows that our tax obligations will be lower as well," he said.

In admonishing the oil giant for its tax plans, Nelson also pointed out that Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) has said it will forgo any tax deduction for the $535 million it will pay in penalties in its settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,037.97 0.00 0.00%
Nasdaq 5,060.25 -31.84 -0.63%
S&P 500 2,108.92 -8.77 -0.41%
Treasuries 1.92 0.01 0.37%
Data as of 11:52pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Applied Materials In... 19.97 -1.83 -8.39%
Apple Inc 132.65 2.37 1.82%
Bank of America Corp... 15.56 -0.08 -0.51%
Microsoft Corp 48.03 0.16 0.33%
Pfizer Inc 34.59 -0.68 -1.93%
Data as of 4:04pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

No customers or employees were in the store when looters broke into it, the company said. It was closed earlier in the afternoon out of caution before the situation turned violent. More

A major earthquake was the last thing Nepal needed. Even before one of the country's major fault lines rumbled to life, the country was beset by challenges. More

Tech devices -- from drones to Raspberry Pis -- got a lot of love onstage at the 2015 Matrix Awards honoring powerful women. Here's why. More

An Oregon bakery that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding had its crowdfunding page shut down after just one day. More

Imagine having a three-day weekend every week and being paid the same full-time salary. It can be done if your employer offers you the option of a compressed workweek. More