Coalition Supports Efforts to Ensure Robust Transparency and Accountability in 45Q

May 11, 2020 | News

On Monday, May 11, The Carbon Capture Coalition submitted two letters supporting continued strong oversight efforts to ensure integrity and transparency in the 45Q tax credit program.

The two letters – one to Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and another to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Rettig – relate to the IRS Inspector General’s(IG) report on 45Q that was released late last week and reinforce the Coalition’s interest in “robust transparency and accountability in monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of secure geologic storage to claim the 45Q tax credit” as highlighted in the Coalition’s statement on the report from April 30, 2020.

The Coalition’s letter to Senator Menendez thanks the Senator for requesting the report and expresses support for the his “efforts to ensure integrity in the 45Q program, especially as the IRS finalizes rules to implement recent congressional reforms to the program.”

The second letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Rettig requests that the Secretary and Commissioner take “decisive action in the wake of findings by the IRS IG that companies claiming the bulk of Section 45Q tax credits to date have failed to undertake the required monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) to demonstrate secure geologic storage.”

The Coalition strongly supports Senator Menendez’s call for continued enforcement of monitoring, reporting and verification requirements for secure geologic storage to claim the 45Q tax credit. The  Treasury and IRS are encouraged to sustain these enforcement actions. Fortunately, the IG’s findings reveal that the system is working.   The IRS has disallowed noncompliant credits revealed during its audits, beginning enforcement as early as 2012. The best way to address the IG’s findings is through robust enforcement of existing requirements and establishment of rigorous standards moving forward.

Coalition members worked for months to reach agreement on transparency and accountability recommendations which were submitted to Treasury and IRS in June 2019. As recently as March 5, 2020, Coalition members again urged both Secretary Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Rettig to adopt consensus-based transparency and accountability recommendations, and to safeguard the integrity of 45Q tax credit accounting in the IRS’ forthcoming rule and reaffirm the public’s faith in the accounting undertaken to claim the 45Q credit.

Click here to read the Coalition’s letter to Secretary Mnuchin and Commissioner Rettig.

Click here to read the Coalition’s letter to Senator Menendez.