NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (continued)
The share-based compensation expense related to the performance share units
(PSUs) is estimated based on target performance and is adjusted as appropriate throughout the performance period based on the shares expected to be earned at that time. The non-vested PSUs
presented in the table above are presented at target or 100%. On February 15, 2019, the Compensation Committee of the Companys Board of Directors certified the achievement of the performance goals for the 2016 PSUs, which had a
performance period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018, at the maximum 200% of the target number of shares (57,131 shares incremental to those included in the table above for the 2016 PSUs).
Employee Share Purchase Plans
Company offers employee stock purchase plans, which allow employees to purchase shares of common stock at a discount through payroll contributions. The expense related to these plans is included in total share-based compensation expense disclosed
For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, total share-based compensation expense was $124.8 million,
$47.9 million and $35.9 million, respectively. Related tax benefits recorded in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income totaled $28.0 million in 2018, $15.6 million in 2017 and $10.9 million in 2016. At
December 31, 2018, there was approximately $172.2 million of unrecognized share-based compensation expense, which is expected to be recognized over a remaining weighted-average period of approximately 2.5 years.
14. INCOME TAXES
In accordance with ASC
Topic 740, Income Taxes, (ASC 740) income taxes are recognized for the amount of taxes payable for the current year and for the impact of deferred tax liabilities and assets, which represent future tax consequences of events that
have been recognized differently in the financial statements than for tax purposes. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are established using the enacted statutory tax rates and are adjusted for any changes in such rates in the period of change.
The Company uses the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities
are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax basis. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using
enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled.
On December 22, 2017, the President of the United States signed into law Tax Reform, which amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce tax
rates and modify policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses. For businesses, the Act reduced the corporate federal tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 21% rate. The rate reduction took effect on January 1, 2018. As a
result of the reduction in tax rates, the Company recorded a reduction in the value of its deferred tax assets of approximately $363.6 million in 2017. The Company has completed its analysis of the impact of Tax Reform during the fourth quarter
of 2018 and has increased its provision for income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2018 by an immaterial amount related to certain deferred tax assets or liabilities for which the Company has adjusted provisional amounts recorded in the
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