Fannie Mae (formally, the Federal National Mortgage Association) has determined that it is unable to file its Annual Report on Form 10‑K for the year ended December 31, 2012 by the March 18, 2013 filing deadline due to the need for additional time to analyze whether conditions existed as of December 31, 2012 that would require Fannie Mae, under generally accepted accounting principles, to release any portion of the valuation allowance on its deferred tax assets in the fourth quarter of 2012. The release of the valuation allowance would have a material impact on the company’s 2012 financial statements and result in a significant dividend payment to the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the terms of the Variable Liquidation Preference Senior Preferred Stock, Series 2008-2.
If we conclude the valuation allowance should not be released in the fourth quarter of 2012, we will continue to evaluate the need for the valuation allowance in future periods. The valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets was $64.1 billion as of December 31, 2011 and $61.5 billion as of September 30, 2012.
Regardless of the decision to release or not release the valuation allowance, we expect to report significant net income for the three months and the year ended December 31, 2012, compared with a net loss of $2.4 billion for the three months ended December 31, 2011 and a net loss of $16.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2011.
Economist Tom Lawler explains:
“Given negative earnings and prospects for negative earnings, in 2008 Fannie felt that … a large portion of its deferred tax asset would never be realized, and as a result it created a “valuation allowance” for its net deferred asset, which hit earnings and net worth. As of 9/30/12, that valuation allowance was $61.5 billion.”
CR Note: From Fannie’s 2008 Annual SEC filing:
We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the future tax consequences related to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases, and for tax credits. In the third quarter of 2008, we recorded a non-cash charge of $21.4 billion to establish a partial deferred tax asset valuation allowance. In the fourth quarter of 2008, we recorded an additional deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $9.4 billion, which represented the reserve for the tax benefit associated with the pre-tax loss we incurred in the fourth quarter of 2008. The additional $9.4 billion valuation allowance increased our total deferred tax asset valuation allowance to $30.8 billion as of December 31, 2008, resulting in a reduction in our net deferred tax assets to
$3.9 billion as of December 31, 2008, compared with $13.0 billion as of December 31, 2007.
We evaluate our deferred tax assets for recoverability using a consistent approach that considers the relative impact of negative and positive evidence, including our historical profitability and projections of future taxable income. We are required to establish a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets and record a charge to income or stockholders’ equity if we determine, based on available evidence at the time the determination is made, that it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.
“With current earnings strong and with the projections for earnings having been upped a boatload, Fannie now is trying to figure out if it can “release” a big chunk of that valuation allowance, and apparently there are some issues about how to figure this out. If they did release a lot, net worth would jump sharply — but, of course, be swept to the Treasury!”