As their colleagues float talks of $100 gas-rebate checks for taxpayers, the heads of the Senate Finance Committee have asked the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax and financial information on the nation's largest oil and gas companies.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Max Baucus, D-Mont., announced that they are planning a comprehensive review of federal taxes paid by oil and gas companies on profits.

"The whole country is trying to figure out what should be done about record high gasoline prices at a time of record oil company profits," said Baucus, in a statement. "It's relevant to know what the real financial picture is for this industry, because the financial picture for American consumers is pretty bleak."In a letter to IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, the senators requested to inspect the annual federal corporate income tax returns for the past five years for the largest 15 oil and gas companies, based on sales. The senators said that the information will help them better understand the federal tax posture of the industry.

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