How Energy Companies Use Tax Laws to Avoid State Corporate Taxes

A review shows a sharp decline in Oklahoma corporate income tax collections in the past four years is due in part to income tax deductions by oil  and gas companies that won’t pay corporate taxes for years to come due in part to state laws. It would appear wind farms aren’t the only ones using state laws to reduce their tax liabilities.

The, the Tulsa-based journalism group found that Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources, even though its profits were more than $789 million last year paid no such corporate taxes.  And state filings show the company won’t pay those taxes for years to come….just one of several state companies that are able to avoid such taxes. They’re able in part to do it through a net operating loss carryforward.

The Frontier found some energy companies “booked sizable losses that can be used to reduce or completely eliminate state income tax liability for up to 20 years.”

In the case of Continental Resources, it “had amassed tax deductions from net operating loss carryforwards in Oklahoma worth $2.17 billion that won’t begin to expire until 2027, according to regulatory filings.”

But other Oklahoma energy companies have done the same thing, according to the Tulsa journalism group.