Marathon Oil Takes CARES Act Tax Benefit of $411 Million

On its quarterly SEC filings, Marathon Oil attributed a $411 million tax benefit to a section of the CARES Act called the Net Operating Loss Provision. A sly late addition to the March legislation, this provision allows businesses to carry back losses from 2020 or 2021 to previous tax years. In other words, companies can apply a loss resulting from the pandemic to last year’s profits (or any year’s losses back to 2018). In many cases this can trigger a tax refund, particularly if the firm filed its 2019 taxes on time. Status: Marathon Oil took the pass-back on its quarterly earning statement (SEC Form 10-Q) dated March 31, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.