|6 Months Ended|
Jun. 30, 2015
|Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract]|
8. Income Taxes
Our income tax benefit for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 was $44.1 million and $147.7 million, respectively. The income tax benefit is partially attributable to recording a ceiling test write-down in the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 of $252.8 million and $513.2 million, respectively. Our effective tax rate for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 was 14.5% and 22.3%, respectively. Both of these percentages differ from the federal statutory rate of 35.0% primarily due to recording a valuation allowance for our deferred tax assets. Income tax expense for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 was $5.3 million and $11.9 million, respectively. Our effective tax rate for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 was 34.9% and 36.2%, respectively, and differed from the federal statutory rate primarily as a result of state income taxes and other permanent items.
During the three and six months ended June 30, 2015, we recorded a valuation allowance of $62.9 million and $85.4 million, respectively, related to federal deferred tax assets and net operating losses. Deferred tax assets are recorded related to net operating losses and temporary differences between the book and tax basis of assets and liabilities expected to produce tax deductions in future periods. The realization of these assets depends on recognition of sufficient future taxable income in specific tax jurisdictions in which those temporary differences or net operating losses are deductible. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets, we consider whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of them will not be realized. Additionally, as of June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, we had a valuation allowance related to Louisiana state net operating losses of $4.3 million for both periods. The tax years from 2010 through 2014 remain open to examination by the tax jurisdictions to which we are subject.
We recognize interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense. During the six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014, we recorded immaterial amounts of accrued interest expense related to our unrecognized tax benefit.
The entire disclosure for income taxes. Disclosures may include net deferred tax liability or asset recognized in an enterprise's statement of financial position, net change during the year in the total valuation allowance, approximate tax effect of each type of temporary difference and carryforward that gives rise to a significant portion of deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax assets, utilization of a tax carryback, and tax uncertainties information.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef