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IRS.gov Website
Publication 535
taxmap/pubs/p535-043.htm#en_us_publink1000209018

Geological and Geophysical Costs(p32)

For Use in Tax Year 2013
rule
You can amortize the cost of geological and geophysical expenses paid or incurred in connection with oil and gas exploration or development within the United States. These costs can be amortized ratably over a 24-month period beginning on the mid-point of the tax year in which the expenses were paid or incurred. For major integrated oil companies (as defined in section 167(h)(5)), these costs must be amortized ratably over a 5-year period for costs paid or incurred after May 17, 2006 (a 7-year period for costs paid or incurred after December 19, 2007).
If you retire or abandon the property during the amortization period, no amortization deduction is allowed in the year of retirement or abandonment.