|6 Months Ended|
Jun. 30, 2016
|Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]|
8. Income Taxes
Income taxes were a benefit of $20.1 million and an expense of $27.5 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016, respectively, as compared to an expense of $37.3 million and $70.9 million for the same periods in 2015. The effective income tax rate was 46.7% and 27.4% for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016, respectively, as compared to 31.1% and 30.6% for the same periods in 2015. The tax benefit recognized during the three months ended June 30, 2016 results primarily from applying a reduced estimated annual effective income tax rate to year-to-date pre-tax book income and incorporating benefits from discrete events. The estimated annual effective income tax rate as of the second quarter was reduced from the estimated annual effective income tax rate as of the first quarter primarily as a result of the ability to fully realize a tax benefit relating to the FTC settlement as described in Note 5, Contingencies. The Company recorded a disproportionately large tax benefit in the second quarter of 2016 as compared to 2015 due to the application of the reduced estimated annual effective income tax rate to the year to date pretax book income. The decrease in the effective tax rate for the six months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015, was primarily due to the tax benefit realized on the FTC settlement and an increase in net benefits from discrete events.
As of June 30, 2016, the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits, including related interest and penalties was $57.9 million. If the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits was recognized, $43.2 million of unrecognized tax benefits, $7.4 million of interest and $1.5 million of penalties would impact the effective tax rate.
The Company believes that it is reasonably possible that the amount of unrecognized tax benefits could decrease by up to approximately $10.3 million within the next twelve months. Of this possible decrease, $5.4 million would be due to the settlement of audits or resolution of administrative or judicial proceedings. The remaining possible decrease of $4.9 million would be due to the expiration of statute of limitations in various jurisdictions. For a description on contingency matters relating to income taxes see Note 5, Contingencies.
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