Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Income Taxes

Income Taxes
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2018
Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]  
Income Taxes
Income Taxes    
The income tax expense rate for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 was 11.2% and (21.3)%, respectively, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 was (3.2)% and (15.3)%, respectively. The differences between the actual consolidated effective income tax rate and the U.S. federal statutory rate were primarily attributable to the allocation of losses on noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests, which assumes a hypothetical liquidation of these partnerships as of the reporting dates and therefore a deferred tax expense is calculated on the income available to common stockholders.
The Company sells solar energy systems to investment Funds. As the investment Funds are consolidated by the Company, the gain on the sale of the assets has been eliminated in the consolidated financial statements.
Tax Act
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Tax Act"). The Tax Act makes broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code that affected 2017, the current year and onwards, including, but not limited to, a reduction of the U.S. federal corporate tax rate from as high as 35% to 21%, net operating loss deduction limitations, interest expense limitations, revenue recognition changes and 100% disallowance of entertainment expense. The Company continues to analyze the Tax Act and implement relevant changes in the accounting for income taxes.
In addition on December 22, 2017, the SEC staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 ("SAB 118") which provides guidance on accounting for the tax effects of the Tax Act. SAB 118 provides a measurement period that should not extend beyond one year from the Tax Act enactment date for companies to complete the accounting under ASC 740, Income Taxes, for the year ended December 31, 2017.  In accordance with SAB 118, a company must reflect the income tax effects of those aspects of the Tax Act for which the accounting under ASC 740 is complete.  The Company has determined that the deduction related to officers' compensation and the new tax statute needs further analysis to make their final assessment. The Company is still within the measurement period as of September 30, 2018 and no further conclusions have been made, as the Company reviews the law change and the impact to the Company.
Uncertain Tax Positions
As of September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, the Company had $0.6 million and $1.5 million, respectively, of unrecognized tax benefits related to an acquisition in 2015. In addition, there was $0.2 million and $0.4 million of interest and penalties for uncertain tax positions as of September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, respectively. During the nine months ended September 30, 2018, the Company recorded an income tax benefit of $1.1 million due to the expiration of federal and California statute of limitations. This benefit was fully offset by an indemnification asset that was written down to zero through operating expenses during the year. The Company is subject to taxation and files income tax returns in the United States, its territories, and various state and local jurisdictions. Due to the Company’s net losses, substantially all of its federal, state and local income tax returns since inception are still subject to audit.
Net Operating Loss Carryforwards
As a result of the Company’s net operating loss carryforwards as of September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, the Company does not expect to pay income tax, including in connection with its income tax provision for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 until the Company’s net operating losses are fully utilized. As of December 31, 2017, the Company’s federal and state net operating loss carryforwards were $720.1 million and $630.7 million, respectively. If not utilized, the federal net operating loss will begin to expire in the year 2028 and the state net operating losses will begin to expire in the year 2024.