The following information related to ExxonMobil’s inventories is taken from the company’s 2009 annual report. You are to use this information in answering the questions that follow.
Inventories. Crude oil, products and merchandise inventories are carried at the lower of current market value or cost (generally determined under the last-in, first-out method—LIFO). Inventory costs include expenditures and other charges (including depreciation) directly and indirectly incurred in bringing the inventory to its existing condition and location. Selling expenses and general and administrative expenses are reported as period costs and excluded from inventory cost. Inventories of materials and supplies are valued at cost or less.
In 2009, 2008, and 2007, net income included gains of $207 million, $341 million, and $327 million, respectively, attributable to the combined effects of LIFO inventory accumulations and draw-downs. The aggregate replacement cost of inventories was estimated to exceed their LIFO carrying values by $17.1 billion and $10.0 billion at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
Crude oil, products and merchandise as of year-end 2009 and 2008 consist of the following:

1. By how much would net income for 2009 have differed had ExxonMobil used FIFO to value those inventory items valued under LIFO? Assume a 35% marginal tax rate. Be sure to indicate whether FIFO income would be higher or lower than LIFO income.
2. What would the LIFO reserve have been on December 31, 2009, if no LIFO liquidation had occurred in 2009?
3. What was the net difference in 2009 income taxes that ExxonMobil experienced as a result of using LIFO rather than FIFO? Assume a 35% tax rate and indicate whether FIFO or LIFO would yield the higher tax and by how much.
4. What was the approximate rate of change in input costs in 2009 for ExxonMobil’s inventory?

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