Income Taxes (Notes)
|3 Months Ended
Dec. 24, 2017
|Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]
On December 22, 2017, tax reform legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Legislation) was enacted in the United States (U.S.). The Tax Legislation significantly revises the U.S. corporate income tax by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rate to 21%, implementing a modified territorial tax system and imposing a one-time repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings and profits of U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries (the Toll Charge). As a fiscal-year taxpayer, certain provisions of the Tax Legislation impacted the Company in fiscal 2018, including the change in the corporate income tax rate and the Toll Charge, while other provisions will be effective starting at the beginning of fiscal 2019, including the implementation of a modified territorial tax system. The U.S. federal income tax rate reduction was effective as of January 1, 2018. Accordingly, the Company’s federal statutory income tax rate for fiscal 2018 reflects a blended rate of approximately 25%.
Pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (SAB 118), given the amount and complexity of the changes in tax law resulting from the Tax Legislation, the Company has not finalized the accounting for the income tax effects of the Tax Legislation. This includes the provisional amounts recorded related to the Toll Charge, the remeasurement of deferred taxes and the change in the Company’s indefinite reinvestment assertion. Further, the Company is in the process of analyzing the effects of new taxes due on certain foreign income, such as GILTI (global intangible low-taxed income), BEAT (base-erosion anti-abuse tax), FDII (foreign-derived intangible income) and limitations on interest expense deductions (if certain conditions apply) that are effective starting in fiscal 2019, and other provisions of the Tax Legislation. The Company has elected to account for GILTI as period costs if and when incurred pursuant to the exposure draft issued by the FASB in January 2018. The impact of the Tax Legislation may differ from this estimate, possibly materially, during the one-year measurement period due to, among other things, further refinement of the Company’s calculations, changes in interpretations and assumptions the Company has made, guidance that may be issued and actions the Company may take as a result of the Tax Legislation.
The Company has preliminarily accounted for the effects of the Tax Legislation, which resulted in a charge of $5.9 billion to income tax expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which was comprised of $5.3 billion related to the estimated Toll Charge and $562 million resulting from the estimated impact of remeasurement of U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities that existed at the end of fiscal 2017 at a lower enacted corporate income tax rate.
The Toll Charge is based on the Company’s post-1986 earnings and profits (E&P) of U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries for which the Company had previously deferred U.S. income taxes. The total estimated Toll Charge of $5.3 billion was recognized discretely in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 related to cumulative E&P through the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2018. The Company has not yet finalized its calculation of the total post-1986 foreign earnings and profits for the respective foreign subsidiaries. Further, the Toll Charge is based in part on the amount of those earnings held in cash and other specific assets. The Company remeasured its deferred tax assets and liabilities that existed at the end of fiscal 2017 based on the income tax rate at which they are expected to reverse, which primarily assumes the reduced income tax rate of 21% applicable in fiscal 2019, resulting in a reduction to non-current deferred tax assets of $562 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.
As of December 24, 2017, the Company no longer considers available cash balances that existed at the end of fiscal 2017 related to undistributed pre-fiscal 2018 earnings and profits of certain U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries to be indefinitely reinvested and recorded a tax expense of $86 million related to foreign withholding taxes during the first quarter of fiscal 2018. The Company otherwise continues to consider other undistributed earnings of certain U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries to be indefinitely reinvested based on its current plans for use and/or investment outside of the U.S., and therefore, no liability has been recorded for such taxes. However, as a result of the Tax Legislation, the Company is reassessing its intentions related to its indefinite reinvestment assertion. Should the Company decide to no longer indefinitely reinvest such earnings outside the U.S., the Company would have to adjust the income tax provision in the period such determination is made.
As a result of the Toll Charge imposed by the Tax Legislation, the Company expects to fully utilize all of its unused federal tax credits that existed at the end of fiscal 2017 of $1.1 billion, which resulted in a reduction to non-current deferred tax assets in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, and the federal tax credits that are expected to be generated in fiscal 2018. The Company will elect to pay the Toll Charge, interest free, over a period of eight years, with payments beginning on January 15, 2019. Pursuant to the exposure draft issued by the FASB in January 2018, the Company did not discount the amount of the Toll Charge. The cash amount the Company currently estimates will be paid for the Toll Charge, net of tax credit carryforwards and expected tax credits estimated to be generated in fiscal 2018, is $3.3 billion and was recorded in long-term income taxes payable.
The Company estimates its annual effective income tax rate to be approximately 297% for fiscal 2018, as compared to the 18% effective income tax rate for fiscal 2017, primarily as a result of the estimated charge of $6.0 billion recorded to income tax expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 related to the combined effect of the Toll Charge, the remeasurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities and the Company’s decision to no longer indefinitely reinvest certain foreign earnings, all of which resulted from the Tax Legislation. The estimated annual effective tax rate for fiscal 2018 was also impacted by the $1.2 billion fine related to the EC investigation (Note 6) recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which is not deductible for tax purposes and is attributable to a foreign jurisdiction. Tax benefits from foreign income taxed at rates lower than rates in the U.S. are expected to be approximately 20% in fiscal 2018, compared to 32% in fiscal 2017, primarily due to the lower U.S federal statutory income tax rate enacted by the Tax Legislation, partially offset by lower estimated U.S. revenues primarily related to decreased royalty revenues from Apple’s contract manufacturers. The estimated annual effective tax rate for fiscal 2018 also reflects a blended U.S federal statutory income tax rate of 25% as a result of the Tax Legislation and the increase in the Company’s Singapore tax rate as a result of the expiration of certain of its tax incentives in March 2017. The annual effective tax rate of 18% for fiscal 2017 reflected the KFTC and TFTC fines (Note 6) of $927 million and $778 million, respectively, which were not deductible for tax purposes and were each attributable to the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions.
The effective tax rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was higher than the estimated annual effective tax rate primarily due to the estimated charge of $6.0 billion recorded to income tax expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2018 related to the effects of certain components of the Tax Legislation, as well as the $1.2 billion fine related to the EC investigation.
Unrecognized tax benefits were $342 million and $372 million at December 24, 2017 and September 24, 2017, respectively. The Company believes that it is reasonably possible that the total amounts of unrecognized tax benefits at December 24, 2017 may increase or decrease in the next 12 months.
The Company is subject to income taxes in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions, and is currently under examination by various tax authorities worldwide, most notably in countries where the Company earns a routine return and tax authorities believe substantial value-add activities are performed. These examinations are at various stages with respect to assessments, claims, deficiencies and refunds, many of which are open for periods after fiscal 2000. The Company continually assesses the likelihood and amount of potential adjustments and adjusts the income tax provision, income taxes payable and deferred taxes in the period in which the facts give rise to a revision become known. As of December 24, 2017, the Company believes that adequate amounts have been reserved for based on facts known. However, the final determination of tax audits and any related legal proceedings could materially differ from amounts reflected in the Company’s income tax provision and the related accruals.