|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2021
|Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]|
|INCOME TAXES||INCOME TAXES
Our effective tax rate decreased to 22.2% in the third quarter of 2021 from 22.5% in the same period of 2020 (22.4% year to date compared to 23.5% in 2020). The recognition in income tax of excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation reduced our effective rate by 0.6% year to date compared to 0.2% in the same period of 2020 (there was no significant impact in the third quarter of 2021 or 2020). Changes in the proportion of our taxable income in certain jurisdictions relative to total pre-tax income favorably impacted our effective tax rate in the third quarter relative to the prior year.
As discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, 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 the timing of interest deductions and the allocation of income and expense between tax jurisdictions. These changes could result from the settlement of ongoing litigation, the completion of ongoing examinations, the expiration of statutes of limitations or other unforeseen circumstances.
In the first quarter, we recognized an income tax expense of $788 million related to pre-tax mark-to-market income of $3.3 billion on certain of our defined benefit pension plans. This income tax expense was generated at a higher average tax rate than the U.S. federal statutory tax rate because it included the effect of U.S. state and local taxes.
As discussed in note 18, we recognized pre-tax transformation strategy costs of $74 million in the third quarter of 2021 compared to $44 million in the same period of 2020 ($308 million year to date compared to $201 million in the prior year). As a result, we recorded an income tax benefit of $20 million in the third quarter of 2021 compared to $11 million in the same period of 2020 ($76 million year to date compared to $50 million in the prior year period). This year-to-date benefit was generated at a higher average tax rate than the U.S. federal statutory tax rate primarily due to the effect of U.S. state and local taxes and foreign taxes.
As discussed in note 6, in the second quarter of 2021 we completed the divestiture of UPS Freight. We recorded a pre-tax gain of $35 million year to date (none in the third quarter) related to the transaction. As a result, we recorded additional income tax expense of $8 million year to date (none in the third quarter). This income tax expense was generated at a higher average tax rate than the U.S. federal statutory tax rate due to the effect of U.S. state and local taxes.
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/disclosureRef