Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2004-18 

May 3, 2004 

Notice 2004-33

Nonconventional Source Fuel Credit, Section 29 Inflation Adjustment Factor, and Section 29 Reference Price


This notice publishes the nonconventional source fuel credit, inflation adjustment factor, and reference price under § 29 of the Internal Revenue Code for calendar year 2003. These are used to determine the credit allowable on fuel produced from a nonconventional source under § 29. The calendar year 2003 inflation-adjusted credit applies to the sales of barrel-of-oil equivalent of qualified fuels sold by a taxpayer to an unrelated person during the 2003 calendar year, the domestic production of which is attributable to the taxpayer.

BACKGROUND

Section 29(a) provides for a credit for producing fuel from a nonconventional source, measured in barrel-of-oil equivalent of qualified fuels, the production of which is attributable to the taxpayer and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated person during the tax year. The credit is equal to the product of $3.00 and the appropriate inflation adjustment factor.

Section 29(b)(1) and (2) provides for a phaseout of the credit. The credit allowable under § 29(a) must be reduced by an amount which bears the same ratio to the amount of the credit (determined without regard to § 29(b)(1)) as the amount by which the reference price for the calendar year in which the sale occurs exceeds $23.50 bears to $6.00. The $3.00 in § 29(a) and the $23.50 and $6.00 must each be adjusted by multiplying these amounts by the 2003 inflation adjustment factor. In the case of gas from a tight formation, the $3.00 amount in §  29(a) must not be adjusted.

Section 29(c)(1) defines the term “qualified fuels” to include oil produced from shale and tar sands; gas produced from geopressurized brine, Devonian shale, coal seams, or a tight formation, or biomass; and liquid, gaseous, or solid synthetic fuels produced from coal (including lignite), including such fuels when used as feedstocks.

Section 29(d)(1) provides that the credit is to be applied only for sale of qualified fuels the production of which is within the United States (within the meaning of § 638(1)) or a possession of the United States (within the meaning of § 638(2)).

Section 29(d)(2)(A) requires that the Secretary, not later than April 1 of each calendar year, determine and publish in the Federal Register the inflation adjustment factor and the reference price for the preceding calendar year.

Section 29(d)(2)(B) defines “inflation adjustment factor” for a calendar year as the fraction the numerator of which is the GNP implicit price deflator for the calendar year and the denominator of which is the GNP implicit price deflator for calendar year 1979. The term “GNP implicit price deflator” means the first revision of the implicit price deflator for the gross national product as computed and published by the Department of Commerce.

Section 29(d)(2)(C) defines “reference price” to mean with respect to a calendar year the Secretary’s estimate of the annual average wellhead price per barrel for all domestic crude oil the price of which is not subject to regulation by the United States.

Section 29(d)(3) provides that in the case of a property or facility in which more than one person has an interest, except to the extent provided in regulations prescribed by the Secretary, production from the property or facility (as the case may be) must be allocated among the persons in proportion to their respective interests in the gross sales from the property or facility.

Section 29(d)(5) provides that the term “barrel-of-oil equivalent” with respect to any fuel generally means that amount of the fuel which has a Btu content of 5.8 million.

INFLATION ADJUSTMENT FACTOR AND REFERENCE PRICE

The inflation adjustment factor for calendar year 2003 is 2.1336. The reference price for calendar year 2003 is $27.56. These amounts will be published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2004.

PHASEOUT CALCULATION

Because the calendar year 2003 reference price does not exceed $23.50 multiplied by the inflation adjustment factor, the phaseout of the credit provided for in § 29(b)(1) does not occur for any qualified fuel sold in calendar year 2003.

CREDIT AMOUNT

The nonconventional source fuel credit under § 29(a) is $6.40 per barrel-of-oil equivalent of qualified fuels ($3.00 x 2.1336). This amount will be published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2004.

DRAFTING INFORMATION CONTACT

The principal author of this notice is Jaime Park of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). For further information regarding this notice, contact Ms. Park at (202) 622-3120 (not a toll-free call).


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