This excerpt taken from the EQR 10-Q filed Aug 7, 2007.
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for interim financial information and with the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X. Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and footnotes required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for complete financial statements. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring accruals) and certain reclassifications considered necessary for a fair presentation have been included. Certain reclassifications have been made to the prior period financial statements in order to conform to the current year presentation. Operating results for the six months ended June 30, 2007 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2007.
The balance sheet at December 31, 2006 has been derived from the audited financial statements at that date but does not include all of the information and footnotes required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for complete financial statements.
For further information, including definitions of capitalized terms not defined herein, refer to the consolidated financial statements and footnotes thereto included in the Companys annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006.
Due to the structure of the Company as a REIT and the nature of the operations of its operating properties, no provision for federal income taxes has been made at the EQR level. Historically, the Company has generally only incurred certain state and local income, excise and franchise taxes. The Company has elected Taxable REIT Subsidiary (TRS) status for certain of its corporate subsidiaries, primarily those entities engaged in condominium conversion and corporate housing activities and as a result, these entities will incur both federal and state income taxes on any income of such entities.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. These assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates for which the temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect of deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized in earnings in the period enacted. As of June 30, 2007, the Company has recorded a deferred tax asset which was fully offset by a valuation allowance.
The Company adopted SFAS No. 123(R), Share-Based Payment, as required effective January 1, 2006, which requires all companies to expense share-based compensation, such as share options. As the Company began expensing all share-based compensation effective January 1, 2003, the adoption of SFAS No. 123(R) did not have a material effect on its consolidated statements of operations or financial position.
The Company adopted the disclosure provisions of SFAS No. 150 and FSP No. FAS 150-3, Accounting for Certain Financial Instruments with Characteristics of both Liabilities and Equity, effective December 31, 2003. SFAS No. 150 and FSP No. FAS 150-3 require the Company to make certain disclosures regarding noncontrolling interests that are classified as equity in the financial statements of a subsidiary but would be classified as a liability in the parents financial statements under SFAS No. 150 (e.g., minority interests in consolidated limited-life subsidiaries). The Company is presently the controlling partner in various consolidated partnerships consisting of 27 properties and 5,445 units and various uncompleted development properties having a minority interest book value of $23.4 million at June 30, 2007. Some of these partnerships contain provisions that require the partnerships to be liquidated through the sale of its assets upon reaching a date specified in each respective partnership agreement. The Company, as controlling partner, has an obligation to cause the property owning partnerships to distribute proceeds of liquidation to the Minority Interests in these Partially Owned Properties only to the extent that the net proceeds received by the partnerships from the sale of its assets warrant a distribution based on the partnership agreements. As of June 30, 2007, the Company estimates the value of Minority Interest distributions would have been approximately $110.5 million (Settlement Value) had the partnerships been liquidated. This Settlement Value is based on estimated third party consideration realized by the partnerships upon disposition of the Partially Owned Properties and is net of all other assets and liabilities, including yield maintenance on the mortgages encumbering the properties, that would have been due on June 30, 2007 had those mortgages been prepaid. Due to, among other things, the inherent uncertainty in the sale of real estate assets, the amount of any potential distribution to the Minority Interests in the Companys Partially Owned Properties is subject to change. To the extent that the partnerships underlying assets are worth less than the underlying liabilities, the Company has no obligation to remit any consideration to the Minority Interests in Partially Owned Properties.
The Company adopted EITF Issue No. 04-5, Determining Whether a General Partner, or the General Partners as a Group, Controls a Limited Partnership or Similar Entity When the Limited Partners Have Certain Rights (Issue 04-5), effective January 1, 2006. Issue 04-5 provides guidance in determining whether a general partner controls a limited partnership. The Company consolidated its Lexford syndicated portfolio consisting of 20 separate partnerships (10 properties) containing 1,272 units, all of which were sold
October 5, 2006. The adoption did not have a material effect on the results of operations or financial position.
In July 2006, the FASB ratified the consensus in FIN No. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes. FIN No. 48 creates a single model to address uncertainty in income tax positions and prescribes a minimum recognition threshold a tax position is required to meet before being recognized in the financial statements. It also provides guidance on derecognition, measurement, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure and transition, and clearly scopes income taxes out of SFAS No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies. The Company adopted FIN No. 48 as required effective January 1, 2007. The adoption of FIN No. 48 did not have a material effect on the consolidated results of operations or financial position.