Our ability to use NOLs to offset future income may be limited.
Our ability to use existing NOL carryforwards and NOLs generated in the future could be substantially limited if we were to experience an “ownership change” as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code. In general, an ownership change occurs if the aggregate stock ownership of certain stockholders (generally 5% stockholders, applying certain look-through and aggregation rules) increases by more than 50% over such stockholders’ lowest percentage ownership over a rolling three-year period. If a corporation experiences an ownership change, its ability to use its pre-change NOL carryforwards and other pre-change deferred tax attributes to offset its post-change income and taxes may be limited. Future sales of our Class B common stock by SunEdison, as well as future issuances by us or trades of stock amount our other 5% stockholders, could contribute to a potential ownership change.
A valuation allowance may be required for our deferred tax assets.
Our expected NOLs will be reflected as a deferred tax asset as they are generated until utilized to offset income. Valuation allowances may need to be maintained for deferred tax assets that we estimate are more likely than not to be unrealizable, based on available evidence at the time the estimate is made. Valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets can be affected by changes to tax laws, statutory tax rates and future taxable income levels and based on input from our auditors, tax advisors or regulatory authorities. In the event that we were to determine that we would not be able to realize all or a portion of our net deferred tax assets in the future, we would reduce such amounts through a charge to income tax expense in the period in which that determination was made, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations and our ability to maintain profitability. Moreover additional ownership changes may occur in connection with potential transactions that may result from our ongoing exploration and evaluation of strategic alternatives.
Investors may be subject to Indian taxes on income arising through the sale of our equity shares.
Several of our power plants are located in India. Pursuant to the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961, as amended (the “Indian Income Tax Act”), income arising directly or indirectly through the sale of a capital asset, including any share or interest in a company or entity registered or incorporated outside of India, will be taxable in India if such share or interest derives its value, directly or indirectly, substantially from assets located in India. This tax is applicable whether or not the seller of such share or interest has a residence, place of business, business connection or any other presence in India. If it is determined that these Indian Income Tax Act provisions apply to shares of our Class A common stock, any transfer of such shares may be taxable in India, subject to the protections, if any, available under a double taxation agreement entered into by the Government of India with the country of which the transferor is a resident. The Indian Income Tax Act defines “substantially” to require the fair market value of Indian assets to represent at least 50% of the value of all assets owned by the entity. Moreover, the Indian Income Tax Act exempts from such tax, persons who have not owned over 5% of the stock of the entity in question directly or indirectly or do not hold right of control or management directly or indirectly of the entity in question at any time in the 12 months preceding the date of transfer. While we do not believe that the Indian assets represent more than 50% of the value of all assets owned by the entity, no assurance can be given that the Indian tax authorities will not challenge this position.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
Each of our power plants has contracted to sell all or a majority of its output pursuant to a long-term, fixed-price power sale agreement with a creditworthy counterparty. We expect any power plant we acquire in the future will be party to a similar agreement, but we may acquire power plants with greater levels of uncontracted capacity. See the table of our properties as of October 31, 2016 in Item 1. Business - Our Portfolio.
With respect to each of our solar and wind power plants, the purchaser of the electricity is an electric utility entity or power is delivered directly to the grid.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
For a description of our legal proceedings, see Item 15. Note 17. Commitments and Contingencies, to our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report on Form 10-K.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.