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Irs allows big oil tax breaks

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IRS said to relent over oil tax break

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The Internal Revenue Service buckled under pressure from corporate lobbyists and sympathetic lawmakers in a tax break case, an IRS lawyer has charged.

The case in question involved the abrupt dropping of plans last month to crack down on an often-abused tax break involving synthetic fuel made from coal, the Wall Street Journal said Friday.

The IRS move, the report said, cleared the way for synthetic-fuel producers, including big energy companies and others, to continue receiving billions of dollars in tax credits under a law designed to help reduce the nation's dependence on oil.

Bill Henck, an IRS attorney who worked on the issue, said the so-called synfuel tax credit has cost the government an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion annually in recent years. This could grow to as much as $10 billion a year as the industry expands, he said.

The IRS denied that politics played any role in its decision last month.

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