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BP Business Economic Loss Claim Appeal 2015-1049: Not-for-profit not required to produce tax return

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The following is an Appeal Panel Decision issued pursuant to Section 6 of the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic & Property Damages Settlement Agreement and the Rules Governing the BP Appeals Process. Links may have been added to assist the reader. The original decision may be found here, as well as a glossary of BP Settlement terms.


BP appeals this award in favor of this not-for-profit Claimant, setting forth 2 grounds for its appeal. First, BP contends claimant is ineligible for compensation because it does not file federal tax documentation. Secondly, appellant asserts the Settlement Program erred by treating mission trip contributions as revenue.

With regard to the tax documentation issue, claimant’s response was fairly simple. Non-profits are eligible for awards if they present a verification of non-filing from the IRS along with the entity’s organizational documents (See Policy 307 v.2) In this case, claimant filed verifications of non filing for all the appropriate years and also submitted its organizational documents establishing that the entity is a non-profit. The required elements have clearly been satisfied and appellant’s position has been invalidated.

With respect to the the mission trip contributions, BP argues these amounts constitute reimbursed expenses for mission trips and reimbursed costs should not be treated as revenue. However, as appellee points out, these contributions are not directly correlated to specific expenses and therefore should not be considered reimbursed expenses. Claimant’s position on this issue rests on solid ground. These revenues are amounts typically earned in the church’s normal course of operations. Moreover, even if BP’s argument had merit, by its own admission, this would only result in an adjustment of $116,837. This is not enough to move the needle in a baseball appeal where claimant’s final pre-RTP number is approximately $500,000 and BP’s is $0.

For all the foregoing reasons, the award in favor of the claimant is affirmed.

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