Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2018
Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]  
We are subject to U.S. federal, state and international income taxes. We are generally no longer subject to federal, state, or international income tax examinations by tax authorities for years before 2015 with few exceptions. Due to the potential for resolution of state and foreign examinations, and the expiration of various statutes of limitations, it is reasonably possible that our gross unrecognized tax benefit balance may change within the next twelve months by a range of $0 to $22.2 million.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Act”), as signed by the President of the United States on December 22, 2017, significantly revises U.S. tax law. The legislation will positively impact the Company’s ongoing effective tax rate due to the reduction of the U.S. federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. The Tax Act makes major changes to the U.S. international tax system. Under previous law, foreign earnings were subject to U.S. tax when repatriated to the U.S. Under the Tax Act, foreign earnings are generally exempt from U.S. tax. Additionally, there is a one-time deemed repatriation tax on undistributed foreign earnings and profits (the “transition tax”). The Tax Act imposes other U.S. taxes on “global intangible low taxed income” and “base erosion anti-abuse transactions.” Other significant changes include limitations on the deductibility of interest expense and executive compensation, and repeal of the deduction for domestic production activities. As a result of the current interpretation and estimated impact of the Tax Act, the Company recorded adjustments totaling a net tax benefit of $48.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to provisionally account for the estimated impact.

As permitted by Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, provisional amounts estimated based on information available as of December 31, 2017 have been made for the adjustments to deferred tax assets and liabilities, state taxes, equity compensation, the calculation of the transition tax, the valuation allowance related to the foreign tax credit carryover and the 2017 dividends. These amounts are subject to change as we obtain information necessary to complete the calculations and clarifications to the U.S. tax code as they occur. In all cases, we will continue to make and refine our calculations as additional analysis is completed. These changes could be material to income tax expense. During the three months ended March 31, 2018, no material adjustments were made to the provisional amounts recorded at December 31, 2017.

The Tax Act subjects a U.S. shareholder to tax on Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income ("GILTI") earned by certain foreign subsidiaries. The FASB Staff Q&A, Topic 740, No. 5, Accounting for Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income, states that an entity can make an accounting policy election to either recognize deferred taxes for temporary basis differences expected to reverse as GILTI in future years or provide for the tax expense related to GILTI in the year the tax is incurred as a period expense only. Given the complexity of the GILTI provisions, we are still evaluating the effects of the GILTI provisions and have not yet determined our accounting policy. At March 31, 2018, because are we still evaluating the GILTI provisions and our analysis of future taxable income that is subject to GILTI, we have included GILTI related to current year operations only in our estimated annual effective tax rate and have not provided additional GILTI on deferred items.

Effective Tax Rate.  Our effective income tax rate was 23.9% and 20.6% for the three months ended March 31, 2018 and March 31, 2017, respectively. Although the statutory U.S. income tax rate applicable to corporations decreased in 2018 compared to 2017 due to the Tax Act that was enacted in the fourth quarter of 2017, our effective income tax rate in the first quarter of 2017 was lower than the first quarter of 2018 because the prior year period was more favorably impacted by the tax benefit from equity awards and the settlement of an income tax examination.