BP, The Tax Man and The LA Fishermen; BP Has Paid 18,000 Claims So Far, Promises to Continue
LA TIMES - "BP's request for tax records poses a problem for some residents of fishing communities in southeastern Louisiana — the nonconformists who haven't kept records or reported their cash income (like marina-owner Michael Turgeau pictured above who is usually paid in cash, "Man, I wish I'd done a better job of record-keeping."). The first step for a commercial fisherman or coastal business seeking compensation for losses suffered in the oil spill seems simple enough: Submit copies of a commercial fishing license, proof of residence and tax statements.
But the request for tax records poses a serious challenge to some residents of close-knit fishing communities on the swampy edges of southeastern Louisiana, which for generations have harbored self-reliant nonconformists who don't pay much heed to everyday rules and regulations. In other words, they often get paid in cash — and don't always report it.
BP officials said that more than 25,000 claims had been submitted and that more than 12,000 payments totaling about $36 million had been sent to people facing financial ruin."
Update from AP on claims paid by BP: An official for BP says the oil giant has paid 18,000 claims along the Gulf Coast totaling more than $48 million. Darryl Willis is the BP vice president overseeing the claims process. He said Sunday in Florida's Escambia County that the company has received 37,000 claims so far. He says the unpaid claims are still being processed and that none have been denied. He says "we'll pay until we're done paying."