By Glenn Cheney Norwalk, Conn. -- It's far from decided, but the Financial Accounting Standards Board is looking into the practical and cost-benefit considerations of requiring U.S.-based multinational companies to record deferred tax liabilities on profits that are earned overseas. If it looks like producing the requisite information might be worth the effort, the board may work toward such a rule.

Under current U.S. tax law, the earnings of foreign subsidiaries are not subject to taxation in this country unless the profits are "repatriated." Those subsidiaries have to pay local taxes in the country of domicile, of course; but the parent company back in the United States need not record a tax charge and the corresponding liability on the difference between taxes paid offshore and taxes that would be paid on repatriated earnings.

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