|6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 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 $5.1 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. For 2018, provisional estimates based on information as of June 30, 2018 have been made for equity compensation, §163(j) interest limitation at a partnership level, expense allocation methodology for foreign tax credits and the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income ("GILTI") tax. 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 six months ended June 30, 2018, no material adjustments were made to the provisional amounts recorded at December 31, 2017 and recorded through June 30, 2018.
The Tax Act subjects a U.S. shareholder to tax on 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 June 30, 2018, because we are 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 13.7% and 30.9% for the three months ended June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017, respectively. Our effective income tax rate was 18.0% and 26.3% for the six months ended June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017, respectively. Statutory U.S. income tax rates decreased in 2018 compared to 2017 due to the Tax Act that was enacted in the fourth quarter of 2017 which favorably impacts both quarterly and year-to-date effective tax rates. In addition, our second quarter tax rate was favorably impacted by a settlement with tax authorities of uncertain tax positions related to the 2016 and 2017 tax years. The decrease in the year-to-date rate is offset by an adjustment to uncertain tax positions related to a settlement of an income tax audit in the first quarter of 2017 and a lower tax benefit from stock-based compensation in 2018 versus 2017.