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Income Taxes
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]  
Income Taxes
We have been organized and have operated as a REIT effective beginning with our taxable year that ended on December 31, 2014. As a REIT, we are generally permitted to deduct from our federal taxable income the dividends we pay to our stockholders. The income represented by such dividends is not subject to federal taxation at the entity level but is taxed, if at all, at the stockholder level. The income of our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries ("TRSs"), which hold our domestic operations that may not be REIT-compliant as currently operated and structured, is subject, as applicable, to federal and state corporate income tax. In addition, we and our subsidiaries continue to be subject to foreign income taxes in jurisdictions in which we have business operations or a taxable presence, regardless of whether assets are held or operations are conducted through subsidiaries disregarded for federal income tax purposes or TRSs. We will also be subject to a separate corporate income tax on any gains recognized on the sale or disposition of any asset previously owned by a C corporation during a five-year period following the date on which that asset was first owned by a REIT that are attributable to "built-in" gains with respect to that asset on that date. This built-in gains tax has been imposed on our depreciation recapture recognized into income as a result of accounting method changes commenced in our pre-REIT period and in connection with the Recall Transaction and IODC Transaction. If we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we will be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate income tax rates. Even if we remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to some federal, state, local and foreign taxes on our income and property in addition to taxes owed with respect to our TRS operations. In particular, while state income tax regimes often parallel the federal income tax regime for REITs, many states do not completely follow federal rules and some do not follow them at all.

On December 22, 2017, legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Reform Legislation”) was enacted into law in the United States. The Tax Reform Legislation amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), to reduce tax rates and modify policies, credits and deductions for businesses and individuals. The following summarizes certain components of the Tax Reform Legislation and the impact such components of the Tax Reform Legislation. One of the primary components of the Tax Reform Legislation was a reduction in the United States corporate federal income tax rate from 35% to 21% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.

a.Deemed Repatriation Transition Tax

The Tax Reform Legislation imposed a transition tax (the “Deemed Repatriation Transition Tax”) on a mandatory deemed repatriation of post-1986 undistributed foreign earnings and profits not previously subject to United States tax as of November 2, 2017 or December 31, 2017, whichever is greater (the “Undistributed E&P”) as of the last taxable year beginning before January 1, 2018. The Deemed Repatriation Transition Tax varied depending on whether the Undistributed E&P is held in liquid (as defined in the Tax Reform Legislation) or non-liquid assets. A participation deduction against the deemed repatriation would result in a Deemed Repatriation Transition Tax on Undistributed E&P of 15.5% if held in cash and liquid assets and 8% if held in non-liquid assets. The Deemed Repatriation Transition Tax applies regardless of whether or not an entity has cash in its foreign subsidiaries and regardless of whether the entity actually repatriates the Undistributed E&P back to the United States.

We have completed our analysis and determined that the amount of Undistributed E&P deemed repatriated under the Tax Reform Legislation in our taxable year ending December 31, 2017 was $160,000 (the “Undistributed E&P”). We opted to include the full amount of Undistributed E&P in our 2017 taxable income, rather than spread it over eight years (as permitted by the Tax Reform Legislation). After applying the participation deduction, included in our REIT taxable income for 2017 was approximately $70,900 related to the deemed repatriation of Undistributed E&P.

b. Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income

For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, the Tax Reform Legislation introduced new provisions intended to prevent the erosion of the United States federal income tax base through the taxation of certain global intangible low-taxed income (“GILTI”). The GILTI provisions created a new requirement that certain income earned by controlled foreign corporations (“CFCs”) must be included currently in the gross income of the CFC’s United States tax resident shareholder. Generally, GILTI is the excess of the United States shareholder’s pro rata portion of the income of its foreign subsidiaries over the net deemed tangible income return of such subsidiaries.
The GILTI provisions also provide for certain deductions against the inclusion of GILTI in taxable income; however, REITs are not eligible for such deductions. Therefore, 100% of our GILTI is included in our taxable income and will increase the required minimum distribution to our stockholders. We estimate the amount of the GILTI in our taxable income for the year ending December 31, 2018 to be approximately $20,791. We have adopted a policy such that we will recognize no deferred taxes related to basis differences resulting from GILTI.

c. Interest Deduction Limitation

The Tax Reform Legislation also limits, for certain entities, the deduction for net interest expense to the sum of business interest income plus 30% of adjusted taxable income (the “Interest Deduction Limitation”). Adjusted taxable income is defined in the Tax Reform Legislation similar to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2022, and is defined similar to earnings before interest and taxes for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2021.

The Interest Deduction Limitation does not apply to taxpayers that qualify, and make an election, to be treated as an “electing real property trade or business”. As a REIT, IMI, including all of our QRSs, expects to make an election to be treated as an "electing real property trade or business" beginning in our taxable year ended December 31, 2018. As such, the interest deduction limitation will not apply to IMI or our QRSs; however, IMI will be required to utilize the alternative depreciation system for its real property. This election will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. We do not generally believe our TRSs are eligible for treatment as "electing real property trades or businesses".

The significant components of our deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are presented below:
 
December 31,
 
2017
 
2018
Deferred Tax Assets:
 

 
 

Accrued liabilities and other adjustments
$
38,931

 
$
54,506

Net operating loss carryforwards
105,026

 
92,952

Federal benefit of unrecognized tax benefits
3,051

 
2,925

Valuation allowance
(61,756
)
 
(55,666
)
 
85,252

 
94,717

Deferred Tax Liabilities:
 

 
 

Other assets, principally due to differences in amortization
(168,028
)
 
(166,469
)
Plant and equipment, principally due to differences in depreciation
(61,530
)
 
(74,147
)
Other(1)

 
(26,260
)
 
(229,558
)
 
(266,876
)
Net deferred tax liability
$
(144,306
)
 
$
(172,159
)
______________________________________________________________________________
(1)
Other consists primarily of withholding taxes on the earnings of foreign qualified REIT subsidiaries, capital lease obligations and an accounting method change for certain tangible assets acquired as part of the IODC Transaction. At December 31, 2017, the comparable amount of approximately $12,800 was presented as a reduction to accrued liabilities and other adjustments in the table above.

The deferred tax assets and liabilities are presented below:
 
December 31,
 
2017
 
2018
Noncurrent deferred tax assets (Included in Other, a component of
Other Assets, net)
$
11,422

 
$
11,677

Noncurrent deferred tax liabilities
(155,728
)
 
(183,836
)


At December 31, 2018, we have federal net operating loss carryforwards of $163,022 available to reduce future federal taxable income, the majority of which expire from 2023 through 2037. Of the $163,022, we expect to utilize $49,436 and realize a federal tax benefit of $10,382. A majority of the net operating loss carryforwards and federal tax benefit expected to be realized were generated by the IODC Transaction. We can carry forward these net operating losses to the extent we do not utilize them in any given available year. We have state net operating loss carryforwards, which expire from 2019 through 2038, of which an insignificant state tax benefit is expected to be realized. We have assets for foreign net operating losses of $82,485, with various expiration dates (and in some cases no expiration date), subject to a valuation allowance of approximately 67%.

Rollforward of the valuation allowance is as follows:
Year Ended December 31,
 
Balance at
Beginning of
the Year
 
Charged
(Credited) to
Expense
 
Other Increases/(Decreases)(1)
 
Balance at
End of
the Year
2016
 
$
60,009

 
$
7,660

 
$
3,690

 
$
71,359

2017
 
71,359

 
(4,317
)
 
(5,286
)
 
61,756

2018
 
61,756

 
3,568

 
(9,658
)
 
55,666


_______________________________________________________________________________
(1)
Other increases and decreases in valuation allowances are primarily related to changes in foreign currency exchange rates and disposal of certain foreign subsidiaries.

The components of income (loss) from continuing operations before provision (benefit) for income taxes and gain on sale of real estate are:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
United States
$
106,223

 
$
161,198

 
$
201,730

Canada
28,157

 
50,019

 
53,779

Other Foreign
12,264

 
4,888

 
102,402

 
$
146,644

 
$
216,105

 
$
357,911


The provision (benefit) for income taxes consists of the following components:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
Federal—current
$
52,944

 
$
16,345

 
$
703

Federal—deferred
(28,127
)
 
(12,655
)
 
(4,675
)
State—current
6,096

 
3,440

 
918

State—deferred
(1,479
)
 
(1,276
)
 
627

Foreign—current
36,272

 
42,532

 
45,371

Foreign—deferred
(20,762
)
 
(22,439
)
 
(6,681
)
 
$
44,944

 
$
25,947

 
$
36,263



A reconciliation of total income tax expense and the amount computed by applying the former federal statutory tax rate of 35.0% to income from continuing operations before provision (benefit) for income taxes and gain on sale of real estate for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017 and the current federal statutory tax rate of 21.0% to income from continuing operations before provision (benefit) for income taxes and gain on sale of real estate for the year ended December 31, 2018 is as follows:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
Computed "expected" tax provision
$
51,325

 
$
75,637

 
$
75,161

Changes in income taxes resulting from:
 

 
 

 
 

Tax adjustment relating to REIT
(18,526
)
 
(78,873
)
 
(35,165
)
Deferred tax adjustment and other taxes due to REIT conversion
247

 

 

State taxes (net of federal tax benefit)
3,796

 
2,692

 
1,599

Increase (decrease) in valuation allowance (net operating losses)
7,660

 
(4,317
)
 
3,568

Foreign repatriation
510

 
29,476

 

U.S. Federal Rate Reduction

 
(4,685
)
 

Reserve (reversal) accrual and audit settlements (net of federal tax benefit)
1,898

 
(9,103
)
 
(13,985
)
Foreign tax rate differential
(13,328
)
 
(11,949
)
 
5,545

Disallowed foreign interest, Subpart F income, and other foreign taxes
7,773

 
29,325

 
903

Other, net
3,589

 
(2,256
)
 
(1,363
)
Provision (Benefit) for Income Taxes
$
44,944

 
$
25,947

 
$
36,263



Our effective tax rates for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018 were 30.6%, 12.0% and 10.1%, respectively. Our effective tax rate is subject to variability in the future due to, among other items: (1) changes in the mix of income between our qualified REIT subsidiaries and our TRSs, as well as among the jurisdictions in which we operate; (2) tax law changes; (3) volatility in foreign exchange gains and losses; (4) the timing of the establishment and reversal of tax reserves; and (5) our ability to utilize net operating losses that we generate.

The primary reconciling items between the former federal statutory tax rate of 35.0% and our overall effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2016 were the benefit derived from the dividends paid deduction of $18,526 and the impact of differences in the tax rates at which our foreign earnings are subject resulting in a tax benefit of $13,328, partially offset by valuation allowances on certain of our foreign net operating losses of $7,660.

The primary reconciling items between the former federal statutory tax rate of 35.0% and our overall effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2017 were the benefit derived from the dividends paid deduction of $78,873, the impact of differences in the tax rates at which our foreign earnings are subject resulting in a tax benefit of $11,949, and a release of valuation allowances on certain of our foreign net operating losses of $4,317 as a result of the merger of certain of our foreign subsidiaries, partially offset by the impact of the Tax Reform Legislation of $24,791 (reflecting the impact of the Deemed Repatriation Transition Tax, partially offset by the impact of the U.S. Federal Rate Reduction).

The primary reconciling items between the current federal statutory tax rate of 21.0% and our overall effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2018 were the benefit derived from the dividends paid deduction of $35,165, the impact of differences in the tax rates at which our foreign earnings are subject to, resulting in a tax provision of $5,545 and a discrete tax benefit of approximately $14,000 associated with the resolution of a tax matter (which was included as a component of Accrued expenses in our Consolidated Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2017).

As a REIT, we are entitled to a deduction for dividends paid, resulting in a substantial reduction of federal income tax expense. As a REIT, substantially all of our income tax expense will be incurred based on the earnings generated by our foreign subsidiaries and our domestic TRSs.

Following our conversion to a REIT in 2014, we concluded that it was not our intent to reinvest our current and future undistributed earnings of our foreign subsidiaries indefinitely outside the United States.

During 2016, as a result of the closing of the Recall Transaction and the subsequent integration of Recall’s operations into our operations, we reassessed our intentions regarding the indefinite reinvestment of such undistributed earnings of our foreign subsidiaries outside the United States (the “2016 Indefinite Reinvestment Assessment”). As a result of the 2016 Indefinite Reinvestment Assessment, we concluded that it is our intent to indefinitely reinvest our current and future undistributed earnings of certain of our unconverted foreign TRSs outside the United States and, therefore, during 2016, we recognized a decrease in our provision for income taxes from continuing operations in the amount of $3,260, representing the reversal of previously recognized incremental foreign withholding taxes on the earnings of such unconverted foreign TRSs. As a result of the 2016 Indefinite Reinvestment Assessment, we no longer provide incremental foreign withholding taxes on the retained book earnings of these unconverted foreign TRSs, which was approximately $249,200 as of December 31, 2018. As a REIT, future repatriation of incremental undistributed earnings of our foreign subsidiaries will not be subject to federal or state income tax, with the exception of foreign withholding taxes in limited instances; however, such future repatriations will require distribution in accordance with REIT distribution rules, and any such distribution may then be taxable, as appropriate, at the stockholder level. We continue, however, to provide for incremental foreign withholding taxes on net book over outside basis differences related to the earnings of our foreign qualified REIT subsidiaries and certain other foreign TRSs (excluding unconverted foreign TRSs).

The evaluation of an uncertain tax position is a two-step process. The first step is a recognition process whereby we determine whether it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon examination, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits of the position. The second step is a measurement process whereby a tax position that meets the more likely than not recognition threshold is calculated to determine the amount of benefit to recognize in the financial statements. The tax position is measured as the largest amount of benefit that is greater than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement.
We have elected to recognize interest and penalties associated with uncertain tax positions as a component of the provision (benefit) for income taxes in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations. We recorded an increase of $1,805, $289 and $1,961 for gross interest and penalties for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. We had $7,061 and $7,557 accrued for the payment of interest and penalties as of December 31, 2017 and 2018, respectively.

A summary of tax years that remain subject to examination by major tax jurisdictions is as follows:
Tax Years
 
Tax Jurisdiction
See Below
 
United States—Federal and State
2012 to present
 
Canada
2015 to present
 
United Kingdom


The normal statute of limitations for United States federal tax purposes is three years from the date the tax return is filed; however, the statute of limitations may remain open for periods longer than three years in instances where a federal tax examination is in progress. The 2015, 2016 and 2017 tax years remain subject to examination for United States federal tax purposes as well as net operating loss carryforwards utilized in these years. We utilized net operating losses from 2001 through 2002 and 2009 through 2015 in our federal income tax returns for these tax years. The normal statute of limitations for state purposes is between three to five years. However, certain of our state statute of limitations remain open for periods longer than this when audits are in progress.

We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. We are subject to examination by various tax authorities in jurisdictions in which we have business operations or a taxable presence. We regularly assess the likelihood of additional assessments by tax authorities and provide for these matters as appropriate. As of December 31, 2017, we had $38,533 of reserves related to uncertain tax positions, of which $34,003 and $4,530 is included in other long-term liabilities and deferred income taxes, respectively, in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet. As of December 31, 2018, we had $35,320 of reserves related to uncertain tax positions, of which $32,144 and $3,176 is included in other long-term liabilities and deferred income taxes, respectively, in the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheet. Although we believe our tax estimates are appropriate, the final determination of tax audits and any related litigation could result in changes in our estimates.
A rollforward of unrecognized tax benefits is as follows:
Gross tax contingencies—December 31, 2015
$
47,685

Gross additions based on tax positions related to the current year
3,704

Gross additions for tax positions of prior years
12,207

Gross reductions for tax positions of prior years
(1,740
)
Lapses of statutes
(2,390
)
Settlements

Gross tax contingencies—December 31, 2016
$
59,466

Gross additions based on tax positions related to the current year
4,067

Gross additions for tax positions of prior years
3,368

Gross reductions for tax positions of prior years(1)
(2,789
)
Lapses of statutes
(2,629
)
Settlements
(22,950
)
Gross tax contingencies—December 31, 2017
$
38,533

Gross additions based on tax positions related to the current year
3,147

Gross additions for tax positions of prior years
981

Gross reductions for tax positions of prior years
(2,865
)
Lapses of statutes
(4,462
)
Settlements
(14
)
Gross tax contingencies—December 31, 2018
$
35,320


_______________________________________________________________________________
(1)
This amount includes gross additions related to the Recall Transaction.

The reversal of these reserves of $35,320 ($32,677 net of federal tax benefit) as of December 31, 2018 will be recorded as a reduction of our income tax provision, if sustained. We believe that it is reasonably possible that an amount up to approximately $7,767 ($5,119 net of federal tax benefit) of our unrecognized tax positions may be recognized by the end of 2019 as a result of a lapse of statute of limitations or upon closing and settling significant audits in various worldwide jurisdictions.