Mobile solar firm causes USD-377m charge for Berkshire Hathaway

Solar module. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

May 9 (Renewables Now) - US conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK.A) has incurred a USD-377-million (EUR 335m) charge in the first quarter of 2019, which, according to a Bloomberg report, is linked to tax-related investments involving bankrupt firm DC Solar Solutions Inc.

Warren Buffett’s company says in a regulatory filing that it recorded income tax expense of the above-mentioned amount in January-March 2019 after pouring USD 340 million between 2015 and 2018 into certain tax equity investment funds.

“In December 2018 and during the first quarter of 2019, we learned of allegations by federal authorities of fraudulent income conduct by the sponsor of these funds,” Berkshire says, adding that it is more likely than not that the income tax benefits it recognised are not valid.

While the filing does not name the funds’ sponsor, Buffett’s assistant, Debbie Bosanek, told Bloomberg that the charge is tied to DC Solar, a California-based mobile energy provider that filed for bankruptcy in February 2019.

DC Solar’s headquarters were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in December 2018. The company has been accused of being involved in a “Ponzi-type investment fraud scheme”, according to various media reports.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.889)

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