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EBay Tax Hit: Ray of Hope or Storm Cloud for Silicon Valley?

Stocks in this article: EBAY AAPL

Hewlett Packard

HP has not provided for U.S. federal income and foreign withholding taxes on $38.2 billion of undistributed earnings from non-U.S. operations as of October 31, 2013 because HP intends to reinvest such earnings indefinitely outside of the United States. If HP were to distribute these earnings, foreign tax credits may become available under current law to reduce the resulting U.S. income tax liability. Determination of the amount of unrecognized deferred tax liability related to these earnings is not practicable. HP will remit non-indefinitely reinvested earnings of its non-U.S. subsidiaries for which deferred U.S. federal and withholding taxes have been provided where excess cash has accumulated and it determines that it is advantageous for business operations, tax or cash management reasons.

As of October 31, 2013, HP had $1.4 billion, $5.6 billion and $30.8 billion of federal, state and foreign net operating loss carryforwards, respectively. Amounts included in each of these respective totals will begin to expire in fiscal 2014. HP also has a capital loss carryforward of approximately $272 million which will expire in fiscal 2015. HP has provided a valuation allowance of $162 million for deferred tax assets related to state net operating losses, $104 million for deferred tax assets related to capital loss carryforwards and $8.9 billion for deferred tax assets related to foreign net operating loss carryforwards that HP does not expect to realize.

Our cash balances are held in numerous locations throughout the world, with substantially all of those amounts held outside of the United States. We utilize a variety of planning and financing strategies in an effort to ensure that our worldwide cash is available when and where it is needed. Our cash position remains strong, and we expect that our cash balances, anticipated cash flow generated from operations and access to capital markets will be sufficient to cover our expected near-term cash outlays.

Amounts held outside of the United States are generally utilized to support non-U.S. liquidity needs, although a portion of those amounts may from time to time be subject to short-term intercompany loans into the United States. Most of the amounts held outside of the United States could be repatriated to the United States but, under current law, would be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, less applicable foreign tax credits.

Repatriation of some foreign balances is restricted by local laws. Except for foreign earnings that are considered indefinitely reinvested outside of the United States, we have provided for the U.S. federal tax liability on these earnings for financial statement purposes. Repatriation could result in additional income tax payments in future years. Where local restrictions prevent an efficient intercompany transfer of funds, our intent is that cash balances would remain outside of the United States and we would meet liquidity needs through ongoing cash flows, external borrowings, or both. We do not expect restrictions or potential taxes incurred on repatriation of amounts held outside of the United States to have a material effect on our overall liquidity, financial condition or results of operations.

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