Corporate tax reform has been a key policy initiative of Trump's as he has called for slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% down to 15%. While this is welcome news for most companies, it would result in some fairly staggering writedowns for Wall Street's largest banks that amassed substantial net operating losses in 2008 and 2009.
According to Bloomberg, Citibank would be hardest hit with writedowns that could hit earnings for up to $12 billion or more.
Donald Trump’s planned U.S. corporate tax cuts could translate to a big one-time earnings hit for many of the biggest U.S. banks, thanks to tax benefits they generated during the 2008 financial crisis.
Citigroup Inc. would take the deepest earnings hit -- perhaps $12 billion or more, according to recent estimates by the bank’s chief financial officer and several banking analysts. Mark Costiglio, a Citigroup spokesman, declined to comment. Others, including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. could face multibillion-dollar writedowns.
The banks might have to write down deferred tax assets, which often pile up when a company loses money and can’t immediately enjoy the tax benefits of those losses. Any writedowns won’t have much impact on capital levels for the banks for regulatory purposes, and lower taxes will allow for higher earnings in the long run. But a one-time hit to earnings can make for a bruising quarter -- and even year -- for a bank’s results.
“It’s a traumatic experience for companies with large” amounts of such assets, said Robert Willens, an independent tax and accounting expert in New York. “In one fell swoop, a significant part of their net worth goes up in smoke.”
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