Watch this short clip on the tax advantages:
The IDC deduction has been allowed in the US since 1913 in order to attract investment capital to the high-risk business of oil and gas exploration
IDC can be deducted in the year incurred, whereas tangible drilling costs are amortized over 7 years
Owners of working interests in wells can typically deduct 60-80% of total well cost as IDC
The IDC deduction can grant a $24 dollar-for-dollar tax reduction for every $100 invested, reducing the net investment to $75
Another way that most investors like to think is that the $24 IDC deduction can be used to immediately offset other income
Operators of a domestic US oil. gas or geothermal well may elect to currently deduct intangible drilling and development costs rather than charge such costs to capital, recoverable through depletion or depreciation.
Intangible drilling costs are defined as costs related to drilling and necessary for the preparation of wells for productions, but that have no salvageable value.
The election is binding upon future years.
An integrated oil company must reduce the allowable IDC by 30%
An independent producer can expense the full IDC amount.
ACTIVE v.s. PASSIVE
The US tas code specifies that a working interest (as opposed to a royalty interest) in an oil and gas well is not considered to be a passive activity. This means that all the net losses are active incme incurred in the conjunction with well-head production and can be offset against other forms of income such as wages, interest and capital gains.
In general, the taxpayer can take the IDC in the proportion to his share of costs paid, which may not be the same as the WI. For example, if a WI holder paid 1/3 of the cost for a 1/4 interest, the WI holder would be eligible for the 1/3 of the IDC.
FOREIGN v.s. DOMESTIC
Operators may not deduct IDCs for wells located outside the US. Such costs must be recovered over a 10-year straight-line amortization schedule or added to the adjusted basis of the property for cost depletion
ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX
All excess Intangible drilling costs have been specifically exempted as a "preference Item· on the alternative minimum tax return.
SALTWATER DISPOSAL WELLS
Wells drilled for the purpose of water disposal are typically capitalized as lease and well equipment because they are related to operations. not to the drilling or an oil or gas well, or preparing It for production
For property placed In service after 1986. when oil, gas or mineral properties are disposed of, certain expensed costs are recaptured as ordinary Income. Exploration and Intangible drilling and development costs are recaptured to the extent that they would have been Included In the adjusted basis of the property If they and not been deducted. Depletion is subject to recapture to the extent that It reduced the adjusted basis of the property.