LIFO – Tax and Cash Flow Note
A company’s pre-tax cash flows are not affected by the choice of LIFO versus FIFO.
In the US, a tax law known as the “LIFO conformity rule” mandates that if a US company uses LIFO for tax reporting, it must also use LIFO for public financial reporting (i.e. U.S. GAAP reporting).
When prices are rising, LIFO accounting creates lower taxable income, which in turn increases after tax cash flow.
The management of a company may prefer to show a high net income to investors, but LIFO will generate more cash in an inflationary environment.
This legal/regulatory policy keeps companies from “getting the best of both worlds” by using LIFO for taxes to increase real cash flows, but then using FIFO for public financial reporting to show investors a higher net income than the net income reported to tax authorities under the LIFO method.
- CFA Level 2: Financial Reporting Part 1 - Introduction
- Financial Reporting: Important Definitions
- FIFO and LIFO Methods for Inventory Expensing
- Inventory Accounting and Financial Statements
- Inflation/Deflation and Inventory Accounting Analysis
- LIFO – Tax and Cash Flow Note
- LIFO Reserve and Converting LIFO Net Income to FIFO Net Income
- LIFO Liquidation
- Inventory at Net Realizable Value
- Impacts of LIFO and FIFO Inventory Methods on Selected Financial Ratios
- Accounting of Long-lived Assets - Expensing vs. Capitalizing
- Depreciation Methods for Property, Plant, and Equipment (PPE)
- Impact of Depreciation Method
- Depreciation - Important Points
- Impairment of Long-lived Assets
- Impact of Asset Impairment
- Revaluation of Property, Plant, & Equipment (PPE)
- Leasing versus Purchasing Assets
- Traditional Lessee Accounting in US GAAP
- Effects of Leases on Selected Financial Reporting Items for Lessees
- Lessor Accounting for Leases
- Lessors and Sales-Type Capital Leases
- Lessors and Direct Financing Capital Leases
- Effect of Leases on Financial Statements for Lessors
- Future of Lease Accounting
- CFA Level 2: Financial Reporting 1 - Recommendations