Issued: July 26, 2013
Initially issued March 30, 2012
Impact: 2011 US GAAP, 2009 US GAAP


We have had a number of requests from data consumers to retrieve information related to the undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries that are intended to be permanently reinvested offshore.  This information is required to be reported if a company has unremitted foreign earnings that have not been reported as a deferred tax liability.  There is an element in the taxonomy for this concept; however, it is rarely used and companies have either created an extension element or used an inappropriate element to represent this concept.  In addition, when reporting this data from period to period, a number of companies have changed the name of the extension element.  (Changing the case of a character counts as a change to the element.)

The use of inappropriate extensions makes it extremely difficult for users to extract this information.


The undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries should be tagged using the element UndistributedEarningsOfForeignSubsidiaries.

Companies also report the amount of deferred tax liability that applies to the undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries if the earnings were to be repatriated.  This is reported if it is practicable to report.  If a company does report this amount they should use the element DeferredTaxLiabilityNotRecognizedAmountOfUnrecognizedDeferredTaxLiabilityUndistributedEarningsOfForeignSubsidiaries.