《经济学人》:低税为何会让美国大银行很受伤
日期:2012-01-05 10:05

(单词翻译:单击)

Financial accounting
财务会计

Double-edged deferral
递延资产是把双刃剑

How lower taxes could hurt America’s big banks
低税为何会让美国大银行很受伤

WHEN is a corporate-tax cut bad for a corporation? When it would trigger hefty write-downs of peculiar but critical assets, as is the case at some of America’s largest banks. The accounting item in question is the deferred-tax asset (DTA). This is a legacy of the financial crisis. America’s tax code allows losses amassed during the meltdown (with some restrictions) to be used to offset future tax bills. Since a bank is increasing its future cashflows by reducing expected tax payments, this is recorded as an asset on the balance-sheet.
什么时候削减公司税对公司不利?答案是,当它可能引发特殊而重要的资产发生重大减值时,就象美国最大的几家银行那样。我们这里要讨论的会计科目是递延税项资产,这是金融危机的产物。按照美国税法,经济崩溃时的累积亏损(还要符合一些限定条件)可用以抵减以后年度的税款。因为银行的预计税款支出减少,未来的现金流量将会增加,因此在资产负债表上它作为一项资产列示。

JPMorgan Chase held DTAs of $16 billion at the end of last year, while Bank of America had $27 billion-worth. The undisputed deferred-tax king, however, is Citigroup with slightly more than $50 billion-worth, the largest discretionary accounting item in the company’s history.
上年末,摩根大通的递延税项资产总额为160亿美元,而美国银行为270亿美元。花旗银行的递延税项资产略高于500亿美元,毫无疑问,它是递延税项资产之王,这个酌量性会计项目的数额在该公司历史上是最高的。

To some, this looks highly optimistic. Mike Mayo, an analyst with CLSA, a broker, has relentlessly questioned Citi’s ability to produce enough taxable income to justify the asset and has suggested that it could be overvalued by $10 billion—a view for which he was, for a time, blackballed and badmouthed by the firm’s top brass. Citi rejects the suggestion that it is counting imaginary beans. Its DTA is, according to its latest filing, recognised subject to management’s judgment that realisation is more likely than not (though it acknowledges that some help from tax-planning strategies may be needed).
也许有些人觉得这非常乐观。券商法国里昂证券公司(CLSA)分析师迈克•马约毫不留情地质疑花旗银行是否能够创造足够的应税收益以实现这项巨额资产,他认为花旗银行该项资产的价值可能被高估了100亿美元,他曾因此遭到公司高层的反对和指责。花旗不承认他们高估了该资产。根据最新文件,他们的递延税项资产是按照管理层的判断进行确认的,最终有可能实现,而且可能性很大。(尽管他们承认这可能需要借助于税收筹划)
Banks with DTAs have to worry about electoral politics as well as future profits. With Barack Obama and all the Republican presidential candidates either keen or at least prepared to lower the top rate of federal corporate tax from today’s 35%, a reduction over the next year or two looks reasonably likely, with an outside chance of a sharp cut. Any such move would make DTAs less valuable since future tax deductions would be worth less. With tax at 35%, a dollar of such deductions saves a company 35 cents. A cut to 20% would reduce the benefit to 20 cents.
拥有递延税项资产的银行除了要关注未来的营利,还得关注总统候选人的政策理念,奥巴马和所有的共和党侯选人要么急于、要么至少准备降低联邦公司税的税率,目前税率是35%,在今后一两年有理由相信这个税率会降低,但下降幅度不可能太大。任何此类行为都会使递延税款资产发生减值,因为税率降低将导致未来税款抵减额减少。当税率为35%时,一美元此类抵减额能为公司节省35美分。如果税率降低到20%,一美元抵减额就只能为公司节省20美分。

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重点单词
  • reductionn. 减少,缩小,(化学)还原反应,(数学)约分
  • keenadj. 锋利的,敏锐的,强烈的,精明的,热衷的
  • brokern. 经纪人 vt. 安排,协商(协议的细节,尤指在两国
  • filingn. 锉(文件的整理汇集)
  • valuableadj. 贵重的,有价值的 n. (pl.)贵重物品
  • imaginaryadj. 想象的,虚构的
  • slightlyadv. 些微地,苗条地
  • relentlesslyadv. 残酷地,无情地
  • corporateadj. 社团的,法人的,共同的,全体的
  • justifyvt. 替 ... 辩护,证明 ... 正当 vi. 调