This excerpt taken from the HPQ 10-K filed Jan 14, 2005.
American Jobs Creation Act of 2004
Our cash balances are held in numerous locations throughout the world, including substantial amounts held outside the United States. Most of the amounts held outside the United States could be repatriated to the United States, but, under current law, would be subject to United States federal income taxes, less applicable foreign tax credits. Repatriation of some foreign balances is restricted by local laws. HP has provided for the United States federal tax liability on these amounts for financial statement purposes, except for foreign earnings that are considered indefinitely reinvested outside the United States.
The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, enacted on October 22, 2004 (the "Jobs Act"), provides for a temporary 85% dividends received deduction on certain foreign earnings repatriated during a one-year period. The deduction would result in an approximate 5.25% federal tax rate on the repatriated earnings. To qualify for the deduction, the earnings must be reinvested in the United States pursuant to a domestic reinvestment plan established by a company's chief executive officer and
approved by its board of directors. Certain other criteria in the Jobs Act must be satisfied as well. The maximum amount of HP's foreign earnings that qualify for the temporary deduction is $14.5 billion. For HP, the one-year period during which the qualifying distributions can be made is fiscal 2005.
HP is in the process of evaluating whether it will repatriate any foreign earnings under the repatriation provisions of the Jobs Act and, if so, the amount that it will repatriate. The range of reasonably possible amounts that HP is considering for repatriation, which would be eligible for the temporary deduction, is zero to $14.5 billion. HP is awaiting the issuance of further regulatory guidance and passage of statutory technical corrections with respect to certain provisions in the Jobs Act prior to determining the amounts it will repatriate. If such regulatory guidance or technical corrections are favorable, HP is likely to repatriate amounts in the high end of our range. HP expects to determine the amounts and sources of foreign earnings to be repatriated, if any, during the third quarter of fiscal 2005. Use of the funds will be governed by a domestic reinvestment plan, as required by the Jobs Act.
Repatriation of the maximum amount eligible for the temporary deduction, which is $14.5 billion, could result in additional United States federal income tax expense, which HP currently estimates to be between $850 million and $925 million, in fiscal 2005. Repatriation also would substantially increase liquidity in the United States, although use of the additional liquidity would be restricted by the domestic reinvestment plan. There would be a corresponding reduction in liquidity at HP's foreign subsidiaries. Some foreign subsidiaries would be required to borrow in order to repatriate their earnings to the U.S. We expect HP's significant positive foreign cash flows would be sufficient to repay any foreign debt and replenish foreign cash balances over time. Should HP decide not to repatriate foreign earnings under the Jobs Act, we would meet United States liquidity needs through ongoing cash flows, external borrowing, or both. We utilize a variety of tax planning and financing strategies in an effort to ensure that our worldwide cash is available in the locations in which it is needed.