Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Principles of Consolidation
Principles of Consolidation - The consolidated financial statements of the Company include its accounts and its consolidated subsidiaries, as well as the Operating Partnership and its consolidated subsidiaries. The consolidated financial statements of the Operating Partnership include its accounts and its consolidated subsidiaries. Intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

The Company currently consolidates the Operating Partnership because it has (1) the power to direct the activities of the Operating Partnership that most significantly impact the Operating Partnership’s economic performance and (2) the obligation to absorb losses and the right to receive the residual returns of the Operating Partnership that could be potentially significant.

We consolidate properties that are wholly-owned or properties where we own less than 100% but control such properties. Control is determined using an evaluation based on accounting standards related to the consolidation of voting interest entities and variable interest entities ("VIE"). For joint ventures that are determined to be a VIE, we consolidate the entity where we are deemed to be the primary beneficiary. Determination of the primary beneficiary is based on whether an entity has (1) the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly impact the entity's economic performance, and (2) the obligation to absorb losses of the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE. Our determination of the primary beneficiary considers various factors including the form of our ownership interest, our representation in an entity's governance, the size of our investment, our ability to participate in policy making decisions and the rights of the other investors to participate in the decision making process to replace us as manager and or liquidate the venture, if applicable. As of December 31, 2019, we did not have a joint venture that was a VIE.

Investments in real estate joint ventures that we do not control but may exercise significant influence on are accounted for using the equity method of accounting. These investments are recorded initially at cost and subsequently adjusted for our equity in the venture's net income or loss, cash contributions, distributions and other adjustments required under the equity method of accounting.

For certain of these investments, we record our equity in the venture's net income or loss under the hypothetical liquidation at book value (“HLBV”) method of accounting due to the structures and the preferences we receive on the distributions from our joint ventures pursuant to the respective joint venture agreements for those joint ventures. Under this method, we recognize income and loss in each period based on the change in liquidation proceeds we would receive from a hypothetical liquidation of our investment based on depreciated book value. Therefore, income or loss may be allocated disproportionately as compared to the ownership percentages due to specified preferred return rate thresholds and may be more or less than actual cash distributions received and more or less than what we may receive in the event of an actual liquidation. In the event a basis difference is created between our underlying interest in the venture’s net assets and our initial investment, we amortize such amount over the estimated life of the venture as a component of equity in earnings of unconsolidated joint ventures.

The carrying amount of our investments in the Charlotte, Columbus, Galveston/Houston and National Harbor joint ventures are less than zero because of financing or operating distributions that were greater than net income, as net income includes non-cash charges for depreciation and amortization.

Noncontrolling interests
Noncontrolling interests - In the Company's consolidated financial statements, the “Noncontrolling interests in Operating Partnership” reflects the Non-Company LP's percentage ownership of the Operating Partnership's units. "Noncontrolling interests in other consolidated partnerships" consist of outside equity interests in partnerships or joint ventures not wholly-owned by the Company or the Operating Partnership that are consolidated with the financial results of the Company and Operating Partnership because the Operating Partnership exercises control over the entities that own the properties. Noncontrolling interests are initially recorded in the consolidated balance sheets at fair value based upon purchase price allocations. Income or losses are allocated to the noncontrolling interests based on the allocation provisions within the partnership or joint venture agreements.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates - The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, as well as disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Estimates are used in the calculations of impairment losses, costs capitalized to originate operating leases, costs incurred for the construction and development of properties, and the values of deferred lease costs and other intangibles related to the acquisition of properties. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Operating Segments Operating Segments - We focus exclusively on developing, acquiring, owning, operating, and managing outlet shopping centers. We aggregate the financial information of all outlet centers into one reportable operating segment because the outlet centers all have similar economic characteristics and provide similar products and services to similar types and classes of customers.
Rental Property
Rental Property - Rental properties are recorded at cost less accumulated depreciation. Buildings, improvements and fixtures consist primarily of permanent buildings and improvements made to land such as infrastructure and costs incurred in providing rental space to tenants.

The pre-construction stage of project development involves certain costs to secure land control and zoning and complete other initial tasks essential to the development of the project. These costs are transferred from other assets to construction in progress when the pre-construction tasks are completed. Costs of unsuccessful pre-construction efforts are expensed when the project is no longer probable and, if significant, are recorded as abandoned pre-development costs in the consolidated statement of operations.

We also capitalize other costs incurred for the construction and development of properties, including interest, real estate taxes and payroll and related costs associated with employees directly involved. Capitalization of costs commences at the time the development of the property becomes probable and ceases when the property is substantially completed and ready for its intended use. We consider a construction project as substantially completed and ready for its intended use upon the completion of tenant improvements. We cease capitalization on the portion that is substantially completed and occupied or held available for occupancy, and capitalize only those costs associated with the portion under construction. The amount of payroll and related costs capitalized for the construction and development of properties is based on our estimate of the amount of costs directly related to the construction or development of these assets.

Interest costs are capitalized during periods of active construction for qualified expenditures based upon interest rates in place during the construction period until construction is substantially complete. This includes interest incurred on funds invested in or advanced to unconsolidated joint ventures for qualifying development activities until placed in service.

Payroll and related costs and interest costs capitalized for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were as follows (in thousands):
Payroll and related costs capitalized



Interest costs capitalized



Depreciation is computed on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets. We generally use estimated lives of 33 years for buildings and improvements, 15 years for land improvements and 7 years for equipment. Tenant finishing allowances are amortized over the life of the associated lease. Capitalized interest costs are amortized over lives which are consistent with the constructed assets. Expenditures for ordinary maintenance and repairs are charged to operations as incurred while significant renovations and improvements which improve and/or extend the useful life of the asset are capitalized and depreciated over their estimated useful life.

Depreciation expense related to rental property included in net income for each of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 was as follows (in thousands):
Depreciation expense related to rental property



We allocate the purchase price of acquisitions based on the fair value of land, building, tenant improvements, debt and deferred lease costs and other intangibles, such as the value of leases with above or below market rents, origination costs associated with the in-place leases, the value of in-place leases and tenant relationships, if any. We depreciate the amount allocated to building, deferred lease costs and other intangible assets over their estimated useful lives, which range up to 33 years. The values of the above and below market leases are amortized and recorded as either an increase (in the case of below market leases) or a decrease (in the case of above market leases) to rental income over the remaining term of the associated lease. The values of below market leases that are considered to have renewal periods with below market rents are amortized over the remaining term of the associated lease plus the renewal periods when the renewal is deemed probable to occur. The value associated with in-place leases is amortized over the remaining lease term and tenant relationships are amortized over the expected term, which includes an estimated probability of the lease renewal. If a tenant terminates its lease prior to the contractual termination of the lease and no rental payments are being made on the lease, any unamortized balance of the related intangibles is written off. The tenant improvements and origination costs are amortized as an expense over the remaining life of the lease (or charged against earnings if the lease is terminated prior to its contractual expiration date). We assess fair value based on estimated cash flow projections that utilize appropriate discount and capitalization rates and available market information. These cash flow projections may be derived from various observable and unobservable inputs and assumptions. Also, we may utilize third-party valuation specialists. As a part of acquisition accounting, the amount by which the fair value of our previously held equity method investment exceeds the carrying book value is recorded as a gain on previously held interest in acquired joint venture.
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash
Cash, Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash - All highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less at the date of purchase are considered to be cash equivalents. Cash balances at a limited number of banks may periodically exceed insurable amounts. We believe that we mitigate our risk by investing in or through major financial institutions.
Deferred Charges
Deferred Charges - Deferred charges include deferred lease costs and other intangible assets consisting of fees and costs incurred to originate operating leases and are amortized over the expected lease term. Deferred lease costs capitalized, including amounts paid to third-party brokers and internal leasing costs for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 were as follows (in thousands):
Deferred lease costs capitalized- payroll and related costs



Total deferred lease costs capitalized



Due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Codification Topic 842 "Leases" ("ASC 842") on January 1, 2019, only direct internal leasing costs are capitalized and indirect internal leasing costs previously capitalized are now expensed. Deferred lease costs and other intangible assets also include the value of leases and origination costs deemed to have been acquired in real estate acquisitions.

Deferred financing costs - Deferred financing costs include fees and costs incurred to obtain long-term financing and are amortized over the terms of the respective loans. Unamortized deferred financing costs are charged to expense when debt is retired before the maturity date.
Captive Insurance Captive Insurance - We have a wholly-owned captive insurance company that is responsible for losses up to certain deductible levels per occurrence for property damage (including wind damage from hurricanes) prior to third-party insurance coverage. Insurance losses are reflected in property operating expenses and include estimates of costs incurred, both reported and unreported.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets - Rental property held and used by us is reviewed for impairment in the event that facts and circumstances indicate the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. In such an event, we compare the estimated future undiscounted cash flows associated with the asset to the asset's carrying amount, and if less than such carrying amount, recognize an impairment loss in an amount by which the carrying amount exceeds its fair value. The cash flow estimates used both for determining recoverability and estimating fair value are inherently judgmental and reflect current and projected trends in rental, occupancy, capitalization, and discount rates, and estimated holding periods for the applicable assets. The estimated fair value is based primarily on the income approach. The income approach involves discounting the estimated income stream and reversion (presumed sale) value of a property over an estimated holding period to a present value at a risk-adjusted rate. Discount rates and terminal capitalization rates utilized in this approach are derived from property-specific information, market transactions and other financial and industry data.

During the fourth quarter of 2019 and third quarter 2018, we recorded a $37.6 million and $49.7 million, respectively, impairment charge in our consolidated statement of operations which equaled the excess of the carrying value of our Jeffersonville outlet center over its estimated fair value. See Note 11 for additional information on the fair market value calculation. We recognized no impairment losses for our consolidated properties during the year ended December 31, 2017. See Note 6 for discussion of the impairment of our unconsolidated joint ventures at the Bromont, Quebec and Saint Sauveur, Quebec outlet centers during the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017.

In addition, based upon current market conditions, one of our outlet centers has an estimated fair value significantly less than its recorded carrying value of approximately $100.0 million. However, based on our current plan with respect to that outlet center, we believe that its carrying amount is recoverable and therefore no impairment charge was recorded. Accordingly, we will continue to monitor circumstances and events in future periods that could affect inputs such as the expected holding period, operating cash flow forecasts and capitalization rates, utilized to determine whether an impairment charge is necessary.  As these inputs are difficult to predict and are subject to future events that may alter our assumptions, the future cash flows estimated by management in its impairment analysis may not be achieved, and actual losses or impairment may be realized in the future.

Rental Property Held For Sale
Rental Property Held For Sale - Rental properties designated as held for sale are stated at the lower of their carrying value or their fair value less costs to sell. We classify rental property as held for sale when our Board of Directors approves the sale of the assets and it meets the requirements of current accounting guidance. Subsequent to this classification, no further depreciation is recorded on the assets.
Impairment of Investments
Impairment of Investments - On a periodic basis or if circumstances exist, we assess whether there are any indicators that the value of our investments in unconsolidated joint ventures may be impaired. An investment is impaired only if management's estimate of the value of the investment is less than the carrying value of the investments, and such decline in value is deemed to be other than temporary. To the extent an other than temporary impairment has occurred, the loss shall be measured as the excess of the carrying amount of the investment over the value of the investment. Our estimates of value for each joint venture investment are based on a number of assumptions that are subject to economic and market uncertainties including, among others, estimated hold period, terminal capitalization rates, demand for space, competition for tenants, discount and capitalization rates, changes in market rental rates and operating costs of the property. As these factors are difficult to predict and are subject to future events that may alter our assumptions, the values estimated by us in our impairment analysis may not be realized.
Sales of Real Estate
Sales of Real Estate - For sales of real estate where we have consideration to which we are entitled in exchange for transferring the real estate, the related assets and liabilities are removed from the balance sheet and the resultant gain or loss is recorded in the period the transaction closes. Any post sale involvement is accounted for as a separate performance obligations and when the separate performance obligations are satisfied, the sales price allocated to each is recognized.

For transactions that do not meet the criteria for a sale, we evaluate the nature of the continuing involvement, including put and call provisions, if present, and account for the transaction as a financing arrangement, profit-sharing arrangement, leasing arrangement or other alternate method of accounting, rather than as a sale, based on the nature and extent of the continuing involvement. Some transactions may have numerous forms of continuing involvement. In those cases, we determine which method is most appropriate based on the substance of the transaction.

Discontinued Operations
Discontinued Operations - Properties that are sold or classified as held for sale are classified as discontinued operations provided that the disposal represents a strategic shift that has (or will have) a major effect on our operations and financial results (e.g., a disposal of a major geographical area, a major line of business, a major equity method investment or other major parts of an entity).
Derivatives - We selectively enter into interest rate protection agreements to mitigate the impact of changes in interest rates on our variable rate borrowings. The notional amounts of such agreements are used to measure the interest to be paid or received and do not represent the amount of exposure to loss. None of these agreements are used for speculative or trading purposes.

We recognize all derivatives as either assets or liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets and measure those instruments at their fair value. We formally document our derivative transactions, including identifying the hedge instruments and hedged items, as well as our risk management objectives and strategies for entering into the hedge transaction.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes - We operate in a manner intended to enable the Company to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. A REIT which distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders each year and which meets certain other conditions is not taxed on that portion of its taxable income which is distributed to its shareholders. We intend to continue to qualify as a REIT and to distribute substantially all of the Company's taxable income to its shareholders. Accordingly, no provision has been made in the Company's consolidated financial statements for Federal income taxes. As a partnership, the allocated share of income or loss for the year with respect to the Operating Partnership is included in the income tax returns for the partners; accordingly, no provision has been made for Federal income taxes in the Operating Partnership's consolidated financial statements. In addition, we continue to evaluate uncertain tax positions. The tax years 2016 - 2019 remain open to examination by the major tax jurisdictions to which we are subject.

With regard to the Company's unconsolidated Canadian joint ventures, deferred tax assets result principally from depreciation deducted under United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") that exceed capital cost allowances claimed under Canadian tax rules. A valuation allowance is provided if we believe all or some portion of the deferred tax asset may not be realized. We have determined that a full valuation allowance is required as we believe it is not probable that the deferred tax assets will be realized.

For income tax purposes, distributions paid to the Company's common shareholders consist of ordinary income, capital gains, return of capital or a combination thereof.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition - As a lessor, substantially all of our revenues are earned from arrangements that are within the scope of ASC 842. We utilized the practical expedient in ASU 2018-11 to account for lease and non-lease components as a single component which resulted in all of our revenues associated with leases being recorded as rental revenues in the consolidated statements of operations. Base rentals are recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. Tenant expense reimbursements are recognized in the period the applicable expenses are incurred. As a result of combining all components of a lease, all fixed contractual payments, including consideration received from certain executory costs, are now recognized on a straight-line basis. Straight-line rent adjustments recorded as a receivable in other assets on the consolidated balance sheets were approximately $61.6 million and $57.5 million as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Common area maintenance expense reimbursements are based on the tenant's proportionate share of the allocable operating expenses for the property. As a provision of a tenant lease, if we make a cash payment to the tenant for purposes other than funding the construction of landlord assets, we defer the amount of such payments as a lease incentive. We amortize lease incentives as a reduction of base rental revenue over the term of the lease. The majority of our leases contain provisions which provide additional rents based on tenants' sales volume (“percentage rentals”) and reimbursement of the tenants' share of advertising and promotion, common area maintenance, insurance and real estate tax expenses. Percentage rentals are recognized when specified targets that trigger the contingent rent are met. Payments received from the early termination of leases are recognized as revenue from the time the payment is receivable until the tenant vacates the space. The values of the above and below market leases are amortized and recorded as either an increase (in the case of below market leases) or a decrease (in the case of above market leases) to rental income over the remaining term of the associated lease. If a tenant terminates its lease prior to the original contractual termination of the lease and no rental payments are being made on the lease, any unamortized balance of the related above or below market lease value will be written off.

We receive development, leasing, loan guarantee, management and marketing fees from third parties and unconsolidated affiliates for services provided to properties held in joint ventures. Development and leasing fees received from unconsolidated affiliates are recognized as revenue when earned to the extent of the third party partners' ownership interest. Development and leasing fees earned to the extent of our ownership interest are recorded as a reduction to our investment in the unconsolidated affiliate. Loan guarantee fees are recognized over the term of the guarantee. Management fees and marketing fees are recognized as revenue when earned. Fees recognized from these activities are shown as management, leasing and other services in our consolidated statements of operations. Fees received from consolidated joint ventures are eliminated in consolidation. Expense reimbursements from unconsolidated joint ventures are recognized in the period the applicable expenses are incurred.

Uncollectible Tenant Revenues - Due to the adoption of ASC 842 effective January 1, 2019, uncollectible tenant revenues were recorded as a contra-revenue adjustment in 2019. If it is determined collection is not probable we record revenues on a cash basis. Previously in 2018 and 2017, these adjustments were recorded in general and administrative expense.
Concentration of Credit Risk
Concentration of Credit Risk - We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our tenants. Although the tenants operate principally in the retail industry, the properties are geographically diverse. No single tenant accounted for 10% or more of combined base and percentage rental income or gross leasable area during 2019, 2018 or 2017.

Accounting for Equity-Based Compensation
Accounting for Equity-Based Compensation - We have a shareholder approved equity-based compensation plan, the Incentive Award Plan of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. and Tanger Properties Limited Partnership (Amended and Restated as of April 4, 2014) (the "Plan"), which covers our independent directors, officers and our employees. We may issue non-qualified options and other equity-based awards under the Plan. We account for our equity-based compensation plan under the fair value provisions of the relevant accounting guidance and we estimate expected forfeitures in determining compensation cost.
Foreign Currency Translation Foreign Currency Translation - We have entered into a co-ownership agreement with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust to develop and acquire outlet centers in Canada for which the functional currency is the local currency. The assets and liabilities related to our investments in Canada are translated from their functional currency into U.S. Dollars at the rate of exchange in effect on the balance sheet date. Income statement accounts are translated using the average exchange rate for the period. Our share of unrealized gains and losses resulting from the translation of these financial statements are reflected in equity as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) in the consolidated balance sheets.
New Accounting Pronouncements
Recently adopted accounting standards (other than ASC 842 Leases, see Note 21)

In October 2018, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2018-16, Inclusion of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) Overnight Index Swap (“OIS”) Rate as a Benchmark Interest Rate for Hedge Accounting Purposes to Accounting Standards Codification 815. ASU 2018-16 expands the list of U.S. benchmark interest rates permitted in the application of hedge accounting by adding the OIS rate based on SOFR as an eligible benchmark interest rate. The mandatory effective date for calendar year-end public companies was January 1, 2019. The adoption of ASU 2018-16 as of January 1, 2019 did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-07, Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting. ASU 2018-07 amends prior employee share-based payment guidance to include nonemployee share-based payment transactions for acquiring services or property. This ASU now aligns the determination of the measurement date, the accounting for performance conditions, and the accounting for share-based payments after vesting in addition to other items. The provisions of ASU 2018-07 were effective for us as of January 1, 2019 using a modified transition method upon adoption, and early adoption was permitted. The adoption of ASU 2018-07 as of January 1, 2019 did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

In August 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-12, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815), Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities. The new guidance made more financial and nonfinancial hedging strategies eligible for hedge accounting. It also amended the presentation and disclosure requirements and changed how companies assess effectiveness. It is intended to more closely align hedge accounting with companies’ risk management strategies, simplify the application of hedge accounting, and increase transparency as to the scope and results of hedging programs. The adoption of ASU 2017-12 as of January 1, 2019 did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

Recently issued accounting standards to be adopted

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework - Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement. ASU 2018-13 is intended to improve the effectiveness of disclosures required by entities regarding recurring and nonrecurring fair value measurements. ASU 2018-13 is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. The adoption of ASU 2018-13 will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13 to amend the accounting for credit losses for certain financial instruments. Under the new guidance, an entity recognizes its estimate of expected credit losses as an allowance, which the FASB believes will result in more timely recognition of such losses. In November 2018, the FASB released ASU No. 2018-19 “Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses.” This ASU clarifies that receivables arising from operating leases are not within the scope of Subtopic 326-20 “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses.” Instead, impairment of receivables arising from operating leases should be accounted for under Subtopic 842-30 “Leases - Lessor.” ASU 2016-13 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The adoption of this new guidance will not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements