BP Sees $1.5 Billion Charge for Last Quarter on U.S. Tax Law

Updated on
  • Deferred tax assets to be revalued; long-term effect positive
  • Shell also said last week it would book fourth-quarter charge
Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

BP Plc, the British oil major that invests more in the U.S. than anywhere else, expects to take a charge of about $1.5 billion following recent tax changes in the country, despite the prospects of long-term gains from the legislation.

“The lowering of the U.S. corporate income-tax rate to 21 percent requires revaluation of BP’s U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities,” the London-based company said Tuesday in a statement. “The current estimated impact of this will be a one-off non-cash charge” affecting fourth-quarter 2017 results.

A tax overhaul signed into law on Dec. 22 by President Donald Trump contains a raft of new rules, including a cut in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. While BP and its peers expect the long-term effect of the legislation to be positive for earnings, the change results in one-time charges driven by the re-measurement of their deferred tax position.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said last week that the charge may be as high as $2.5 billion. The Anglo-Dutch oil producer is scheduled to announce fourth-quarter results on Feb. 1, while BP will report on Feb. 6.

— With assistance by Kelly Gilblom

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