|WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORP filed this Form 10-Q on 05/03/2018|
WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORPORATION
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—Continued
(in millions of dollars, except share amounts and per share data)
9. Income Taxes
The effective income tax rate was 22.9% for the first quarter of 2018 as compared to the effective income tax rate of 27.9% for the first quarter of 2017. The lower tax rate in the first quarter of 2018 as compared to the first quarter of 2017 was a result of the changes enacted under the Tax Act, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The effective income tax rate for the first quarter of 2018 was above the U.S. federal statutory rate of 21.0% primarily due to state and foreign taxes. The effective income tax rate for the first quarter of 2017 was below the U.S. federal statutory rate of 35.0% primarily due to certain discrete adjustments, a higher domestic manufacturing deduction, depletion deductions, income attributable to noncontrolling interests, research and development credits and the foreign earnings rate differential, partially offset by state income taxes.
The Tax Act, among other changes, reduced U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective January 1, 2018, and also required a one-time deemed repatriation of foreign earnings at specified rates. The accounting guidance on income taxes requires that the effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates be recognized in the period the tax rate change was enacted. The SEC staff guidance allows registrants to record provisional amounts during a measurement period when it does not have the necessary information available, prepared or analyzed (including computations) in reasonable detail to complete its accounting for the change in tax law. The measurement period ends when a company has obtained, prepared and analyzed the information necessary to finalize its accounting, but cannot extend beyond one year. The corporate income tax rate change resulted in a revaluation of the Company's deferred tax assets and liabilities. At December 31, 2017, under the above guidance, the Company made a provisional adjustment of $591 of income tax benefit in the 2017 consolidated financial statements for items that the Company could reasonably estimate such as revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and a one-time U.S. tax on the mandatory deemed repatriation of the Company's post-1986 foreign earnings. The Company will continue to assess the income tax effects of the Tax Act based on further standard setting activities, any transition provisions, and changes in the facts and circumstances of the Company's tax position, during the measurement period. No measurement period adjustment was made for the three months ended March 31, 2018.