In view of the recent enhanced concerns of the SEC and PCAOB that Accounting Principles Board Opinion No. 23 (APB 23)–asserting firms do not comply with the “sufficient evidence” criteria of APB 23, we examine whether APB 23–asserting firms that declared their foreign earnings as permanently reinvested abroad are less likely to repatriate those foreign earnings under the American Jobs Creation Act (AJCA) of 2004, compared with similar non-asserting firms. The asserting firms are required to disclose sufficient evidence that validates an ability to meet their domestic cash needs with only earnings generated in the United States and their plans to indefinitely reinvest foreign earnings outside the United States. Estimates show that asserting firms are more likely to repatriate their foreign earnings than non-asserting firms. In addition, we find that the probability of making an election to repatriate permanently invested foreign earnings under the AJCA of 2004 is higher for firms with nonbinding foreign tax credit (FTC) limitations that have made an APB 23 declaration to permanently invest foreign earnings abroad. These findings suggest that asserting firms’ declarations to indefinitely reinvest foreign earnings abroad are not well grounded, thereby indirectly validating the SEC’s and PCAOB’s increased scrutiny for supporting evidence for APB 23 assertion. The estimates also show that the likelihood of making an election to repatriate foreign earnings under the AJCA of 2004 increases with asserting firms’ liquidity constraints and financial distress: the financial characteristics listed as part of APB 23 criteria of sufficient evidence and highlighted by the SEC and PCAOB comment letters, indicating that asserting firms raid permanently reinvested foreign earnings to satisfy their financial needs and constraints.
Anthony Billings, B., (Francis) Kim, C. and Lee, C. (2019), "Are Earnings Repatriation Elections under the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act Influenced by APB 23 Declarations?", Advances in Taxation (Advances in Taxation, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1058-749720190000026002Download as .RIS
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