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When people think about the BP Economic and Property Damages Settlement that just received final Court approval, it’s easy to simply think in terms of businesses or individuals who lost income. But that narrow viewpoint overlooks a very important class of claimants: non-profit entities. Non-profits are a significant part of what keeps the Gulf Coast Region progressing, providing important services to residents.

And just like businesses of all sizes and individuals who suffered harm after the oil spill, non-profit entities also experienced losses, sometimes significant losses. Those non-profit entities are considered in the BP Settlement, and so long as they meet the other class criteria—namely geographic and causation requirements—are eligible to submit claims to the Court Supervised Settlement Program.

In fact, just before the Settlement was approved by the Court, the Settlement Program’s Policy Decision on handling these types of claims also received Court approval. That Policy Decision was reached in November by the Claims and Administrator and is now available on the Settlement Program’s official website for review.

Briefly, the policy decision states that non-profit entities fall under the category of “business economic loss claims”. For purposes of calculating the losses sustained, contributions and grant monies received by a non-profit entity will be understood as the “revenue” of the entity.

It additionally explains how tax returns will be utilized, since filing taxes is sometimes unique in the non-profit sector. For non-profits that are required to file income tax returns, those returns will need to be submitted as outlined in the Settlement Agreement. However, for those entities that are not required to submit tax returns, submission of a “Verification of Nonfiling” from the IRS, combined with organizational documents is sufficient.

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