|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2016
|Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]|
Our effective tax rate increased to 35.0% in the third quarter of 2016 from 34.0% in the same period of 2015 (35.1% year-to-date in 2016 compared to 34.6% in the same period of 2015), primarily due to the prior year rate including $23 million of net discrete tax benefits related to adjustments of deferred tax balances, the U.S. tax liability accrual associated with a planned distribution of cash from a Canadian subsidiary to its U.S. parent and increases in our reserves for uncertain tax positions.
During the reconciliation of our deferred tax balances in 2015 after filing our annual federal and state tax returns, we identified adjustments to be made in the prior years’ deferred tax balances. These deferred tax balances were adjusted in the quarter ended September 30, 2015, which resulted in a reduction of income tax expense of approximately $66 million. This adjustment was not material to the consolidated balance sheets or statements of consolidated income.
In relation to our acquisition of Coyote (see note 8), we distributed approximately $500 million of cash held by a Canadian subsidiary to its U.S. parent during the fourth quarter of 2015. During the third quarter of 2015, and as a result of the intended distribution, we recorded income tax expense of approximately $21 million.
As discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, we have recognized liabilities for uncertain tax positions. We reevaluate these uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis. A number of years may elapse before an uncertain tax position is audited and ultimately settled. It is difficult to predict the ultimate outcome or the timing of resolution for uncertain tax positions. It is reasonably possible that the amount of unrecognized tax benefits could significantly increase or decrease within the next twelve months. However, an estimate of the range of reasonably possible outcomes cannot be made. Items that may cause changes to unrecognized tax benefits include various state filing positions, the allocation of income and expense between tax jurisdictions and other transfer pricing matters. These changes could result from the settlement of ongoing litigation, the completion of ongoing examinations, the expiration of the statute of limitations or other unforeseen circumstances.
The entire disclosure for income taxes. Disclosures may include net deferred tax liability or asset recognized in an enterprise's statement of financial position, net change during the year in the total valuation allowance, approximate tax effect of each type of temporary difference and carryforward that gives rise to a significant portion of deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax assets, utilization of a tax carryback, and tax uncertainties information.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef