Commentary: BP's $10-billion tax write-off

Such a tax write-off: almost $10 billion.

That's how much BP will avoid paying the IRS as it accounts for the $32.2 billion cost of capping the broken Deepwater Horizon well, cleaning oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, paying federal fines and funding a $20 billion account to compensate victims.

Because BP will skirt taxes it otherwise would have owed, American taxpayers will essentially underwrite fines assessed on the company's blunders that contributed to the catastrophe.

Apparently the U.S. Tax Code allows this.

But just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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