Section 45Q Credit for Carbon Oxide Sequestration

Last updated: 21 August 2023

As part of the Bipartisan Budget Act that passed in February 2018, the US Congress extended and significantly increased tax credits for CO2 use and storage under Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, the changes: expanded the credit to include all carbon oxides, not only CO2, raised the amount of the tax credits; introduced a start-of-construction deadline (originally 1 January 2024 and subsequently extended to 1 January 2026) and 12-year claim period; removed the original 75 million tonne cap; allowed credits for direct air capture and CO2 utilisation; and allowed owners of capture equipment to claim credits and for that entity to transfer the credit to the entity storing the CO2, introducing more flexibility into ownership structures. In January 2021, the IRS issued final regulations for claiming Section 45Q credits including requirements for demonstrating secure geological storage, credit recapture, and life cycle analysis for CO2 utilisation, as well as clarification on taxpayer eligibility to claim the credit. The moves are intended to boost the business case for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects and stimulate investments in new projects. The US Treasury estimated the cost of the tax credits to be USD 2.3 billion over 2020-2029. The credits are expected to help power plants and industrial plants decarbonise. The United States is already a leader in carbon capture technology, hosting nearly half of all facilities operating globally. 

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