|9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2022
|Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]
The Company provides for income taxes at the statutory rate of 21%. Reported income tax expense differs from the amount of income tax expense that would result from applying domestic federal statutory tax rates to pretax income. These differences primarily relate to non-deductible executive compensation expenses, restricted stock unit windfalls, changes in valuation allowances, and state income taxes.
For both the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022 and 2021, the Company’s effective income tax rates were approximately 1%. The primary differences between the effective tax rates for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022 and 2021 and the statutory rate resulted from the valuation allowance recorded against the Company’s net deferred tax assets beginning in the second quarter of 2020 and the effect of state income taxes.
Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance
Management monitors company-specific, oil and natural gas industry and worldwide economic factors and assesses the likelihood that
the Company’s net deferred tax assets will be utilized prior to their expiration. A significant item of objective negative evidence considered was the cumulative historical three-year pre-tax loss and a net deferred tax asset position at September 30, 2022, driven primarily by the impairments of evaluated oil and gas properties recognized beginning in the second quarter of 2020 and continuing through the fourth quarter of 2020. This limits the ability to consider other subjective evidence such as the Company’s potential for future growth. Since the second quarter of 2020, based on the evaluation of the evidence available, the Company concluded that it is more likely than not that the net deferred tax assets will not be realized. As a result, the Company has recorded a valuation allowance, reducing the net deferred tax assets as of September 30, 2022 to zero.
The Company currently believes it is reasonably possible it could achieve a three-year cumulative level of profitability within the next 12 months, which would enhance its ability to conclude that it is more likely than not that the deferred tax assets would be realized and support a release of substantially all or a portion of the valuation allowance. However, the exact timing and amount of the release is unknown at this time. The Company will continue to evaluate whether the valuation allowance is needed in future reporting periods based on available information each reporting period. As long as the Company continues to conclude that the valuation allowance against its net deferred tax assets is necessary, the Company will have no significant deferred income tax expense or benefit. The valuation allowance does not preclude the Company from utilizing the tax attributes if it recognizes taxable income.
Inflation Reduction Act
On August 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”) was enacted into law and includes significant changes relating to tax, climate change, energy, and health care. The provisions within the IRA, among other things, include (i) a new 15% corporate alternative minimum tax on corporations with average annual adjusted financial statement income over a three-year period in excess of $1.0 billion, (ii) a new nondeductible 1% excise tax for the value of certain stock that a company repurchases, and (iii) various tax incentives for energy and climate initiatives. Each of these provisions are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2022. The Company is in the process of evaluating the provisions of the IRA and potential impacts, but does not currently believe this will have a material impact on our cash taxes for the 2023 tax year.