SEC Filings

AMAZON COM INC filed this Form 10-K on 01/30/2013
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The company’s consolidated balance sheet reflects tax credit carryforwards excluding amounts resulting from excess stock-based compensation. Accordingly, such credits from excess stock-based compensation are accounted for as an increase to additional paid-in capital if and when realized through a reduction in income taxes payable.

Tax Contingencies

We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in evaluating our tax positions and determining our provision for income taxes. During the ordinary course of business, there are many transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We establish reserves for tax-related uncertainties based on estimates of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes will be due. These reserves are established when we believe that certain positions might be challenged despite our belief that our tax return positions are fully supportable. We adjust these reserves in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the outcome of tax audits. The provision for income taxes includes the impact of reserve provisions and changes to reserves that are considered appropriate.

The reconciliation of our tax contingencies is as follows (in millions):


     December 31,  
     2012     2011     2010  

Gross tax contingencies – January 1

   $ 229      $ 213      $ 181   

Gross increases to tax positions in prior periods

     91        22        31   

Gross decreases to tax positions in prior periods

     (47     (3     (1

Gross increases to current period tax positions

     26        4        5   

Audit settlements paid

     (4     (1     (3

Lapse of statute of limitations

     (1     (6     —     










Gross tax contingencies – December 31 (1)

   $ 294      $ 229      $ 213   











(1) As of December 31, 2012, we had $294 million of tax contingencies all of which, if fully recognized, would decrease our effective tax rate.

As of December 31, 2012 and 2011, we had accrued interest and penalties, net of federal income tax benefit, related to tax contingencies of $25 million and $24 million. Interest and penalties, net of federal income tax benefit, recognized for the year ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010 was $1 million, $3 million, and $4 million.

We are under examination, or may be subject to examination, by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the calendar year 2005 or thereafter. These examinations may lead to ordinary course adjustments or proposed adjustments to our taxes or our net operating losses. As previously disclosed, we have received Notices of Proposed Adjustment from the IRS for the 2005 and 2006 calendar years relating to transfer pricing with our foreign subsidiaries. The IRS is seeking to increase our U.S. taxable income by an amount that would result in additional federal tax over a seven year period beginning in 2005, totaling approximately $1.5 billion, subject to interest. To date, we have not resolved this matter administratively and, in December 2012, we petitioned the U.S. Tax Court to resolve the matter. We continue to disagree with these IRS positions and intend to vigorously contest them.

Certain of our subsidiaries are under examination or investigation or may be subject to examination or investigation by the French Tax Administration (FTA) for calendar year 2006 or thereafter. These examinations may lead to ordinary course adjustments or proposed adjustments to our taxes. While we have not yet received a final assessment from the FTA, in September 2012, we received proposed tax assessment notices for calendar years 2006 through 2010 relating to the allocation of income between foreign jurisdictions. The notices propose additional French tax of approximately $250 million, including interest and penalties through the date of the