June 27, 2019

Axios: Correcting Halliburton’s Taxes

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Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, emailed this morning to say that I was reading the below section of the 10-K backward. Rather than paying $19 million in taxes, Halliburton declared it was owed a $19 million refund.

Gardner explains:

“‘Current Federal [taxes] looks at first glance like a positive number, but if you look at the text above the table, they specify that they are presenting the numbers the opposite way from what you normally see. A tax benefit (that is, a negative number) looks like a positive number, and a tax provision (that is, a positive amount of tax) is presented with parentheses around it, in a way that makes it look negative.”

I apologize for the error.

Halliburton did not respond to a request for comment. Read more