This excerpt taken from the SWY 10-K filed Mar 2, 2010.
Construction Allowances. As part of certain lease agreements, the Company receives construction allowances from landlords. The construction allowances are deferred and amortized on a straight-line basis over the life of the lease as a reduction to rent expense.
Income Taxes Income tax expense or benefit reflects the amount of taxes payable or refundable for the current year, the impact of deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax assets, accrued interest on tax deficiencies and refunds and accrued penalties on tax deficiencies. Deferred income taxes represent future net tax effects resulting from temporary differences between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse.
On December 31, 2006, the first day of the 2007 fiscal year, the Company adopted new accounting guidance on the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes. This accounting guidance prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of tax positions taken or expected to be taken in tax returns. For benefits to be recognized, a tax position must be more likely than not to be sustained upon examination. The amount recognized is measured as the largest amount of benefit that is more likely than not of being realized upon settlement.
SAFEWAY INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
The Company is subject to periodic audits by the Internal Revenue Service and other foreign, state and local taxing authorities. These audits may challenge certain of the Companys tax positions such as the timing and amount of income and deductions and the allocation of taxable income to various tax jurisdictions. The Company evaluates its tax positions and establishes liabilities in accordance with the applicable accounting guidance on uncertainty in income taxes. These tax uncertainties are reviewed as facts and circumstances change and are adjusted accordingly. This requires significant management judgment in estimating final outcomes. Actual results could materially differ from these estimates and could significantly affect the Companys effective tax rate and cash flows in future years.