US Senators urge ‘timely’ payment of tax credit claims to support biodiesel industry

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Iowan senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley have urged Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig to quickly process 2018-19 claims for the biodiesel tax credit.

In December 2019, US Congress retroactively reinstated the biodiesel tax incentive for 2018 and 2019, extending it through to 2022.

Earlier this year, the IRS issued guidance for biodiesel producers and blenders to claim payments for the retroactively reinstated credit. The agency is accepting claims for retroactive credits until 11 August 2020.

"With our strong support, Congress took action and renewed the tax incentive for five years in order to support this important industry and provide a positive market signal," the senators wrote in a letter to Commissioner Rettig. "Timely payment of claims for 2018 and 2019 is necessary for the recovery of the entire biodiesel industry, including producers, blenders, and farmers."

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB), which supports the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry in the US, has thanked the two senators for their support. Kurt Kovarik, vice-president of federal affairs, commented: "On behalf of NBB's members and biodiesel producers across the United States, I thank Senators Ernst and Grassley for their constant and strong support of the biodiesel industry.

“The senators stood with our industry to urge their colleagues to renew the credit, issued last-minute appeals to ensure its passage, and have now followed through to see that the credit provides a much-needed economic lifeline to biodiesel producers and farmers. We look forward to continuing to work with them as strong champions for the industry."

Dave Walton, owner of Walton Farms and a member of NBB’s governing board, added: "Renewal of the biodiesel tax incentive will help sustain and build an important market for Iowa's soybean growers, who faced a very tough season last year. We appreciate that Senators Ernst and Grassley stood with Iowa's farmers and biodiesel producers throughout the challenges."

Western Dubuque Biodiesel’s general manager Tom Brooks similarly expressed his thanks, noting: “Last year, several of Iowa's biofuel producers were forced to close their doors due to the lapse of the biodiesel tax credit and the EPA's efforts to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard. Senators Ernst and Grassley have been vocal and effective champions for the industry on both issues."