Publically listed companies have to disclose specified information on their taxes in their annual reports/form 10-Ks. This includes:

  • Effective tax rate for years covered.
  • The income tax benefit or expense.
  • The components of deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities.
  • Reconcillation of the differences between the US statutory rates and income tax expense reported in the income statement.
  • Actual taxes paid.
  • Expected changes/risks involved in any tax positions taken.
  • Allowances that may impact tax liabilities; and more.

These disclosures are found throughout the 10-k starting with the MD&A all the way up to the notes to the financial statements.

But when valuing an asset, we are interested not in the past but the future. We are trying to estimate the free cash flows of the business. Taxes will impact our free cash flows. In this context, what can actual taxes paid tell you about future cash flows and valuation?

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