GE's corporate tax bill: Zero
The company didn't pay any US taxes in 2010. In fact, it got a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. With video updates.
The company has beaten Uncle Sam. It paid no U.S. taxes for 2010, The New York Times reported. In fact, it received a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
It's not that GE can claim poverty. The company rang up $14.2 billion in profits last year, including $5.1 billion from U.S. operations.
How did GE do it? Through what the Times describes as "innovative accounting" and fierce lobbying, GE has been cutting its tax bill for years. In a stroke of genius, it hired a former Treasury official to lead its tax department and filled its team with former IRS employees and Congressional tax specialists.
The top corporate tax rate is supposed to be 35% -- one of the highest in the world. But few companies actually pay that rate, since there are myriad loopholes and other ways to get breaks. Now, the Times reports, only 6.6% of Uncle Sam's tax revenue comes from corporations (down from 30% in the 1950s).
It's no coincidence that President Barack Obama installed GE's chief executive as the head of his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. One key subject the council is expected to address is taxes.
Post continues after this video about GE and the presidential council:
The Times reports that GE is especially good at lobbying for and winning corporate tax breaks and has spent tens of millions on lobbyist fees. It benefits from green-energy credits on its wind turbines, for example, and it gets a nice break on the the rate its jet engines depreciate.
While GE might be celebrating, critics call its tax benefits unfair. It's one thing to seek out a few loopholes here and there, but it's another thing entirely to try to profit from the system. "In our system, there are corporations that view their tax departments as a profit center," one former Treasury official told the Times.
Even former President Ronald Reagan was annoyed by GE's tax shenanigans. Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that GE was avoiding taxes with its aggressive accounting, the Times reports.
"I didn't realize things had gotten that far out of line," Reagan told his Treasury secretary. He agreed with closing some tax loopholes and requiring GE to pay a rate that went as high as 32.5%.
But with the kind of lobbying big guns that GE has, it didn't take long for the company to begin seeking ways out of that tax rate.
Get rid of lobbyists and you solve a huge part of the problem in our government.
NO LOBBYIST = LESS CORRUPTION!
It sickens me to no end that they allow this to happen. It's also deplorable when they let actors and celebrities off the hook and not make them pay the millions they actually owe the IRS.
Yet, the little guy gets hounded, wages garnished, penalties added and jail time if they don't pay taxes. No wonder that guy bombed the IRS, no wonder people commit suicide.
We are being abused, robbed and raped by our own government.
If there was ever an argument for making the lobbying process illegal, this is it. I wonder how much in taxes the executives pay. Want to bet they use those same former IRS and Congressional employees to knock their personal tax bills down to practically nothing. It's vulgar and disgusting and all congressmen and senators who have taken GE campaign funds should be held accountable and impeached.
Make the lobby process illegal!! It is nothing more than legal bribery!!!
Gee, Mary Jane, tell me AGAIN why the US is FREAKIN BROKE....
They GIVE THREE BILLION DOLLARS TO GE, and the rest of the citizens get ****.......
TELL ME AGAIN WHY WE'RE BROKE????
To really stir the pot and rally support for a grass roots uprising, gather the tax data for all the big corporations, along with their contributions to politicians, giving their names and the amount of money they received AND the amount of money the corporations spent in their political battles, and publish that.
You want to balance the budget, close the loopholes!
Our tax system is so contorted it has to be administered by a 7,000 page document. If you want to know how GE has managed this ask yourself this question: how many people will actually take the time to read this document? That being said, what are the chances that politicians who are well aware that people will not read this document could add things to this document to help their buddies escape paying Federal taxes?
The government's lack of revenue is not due to a corporate tax rate that is not high enough. It is due to the fact that corporations can lobby and have loopholes made for them by politicians who are corrupt enough to cooperate.
In all honesty if we closed the loopholes and cut the corporate tax to 15% the government would recieve more revenue than they do now with a 35% corporate tax rate that is full of holes!
Gee I just can't understand why our country is 14 trillion in debt? Lets cut funding to education and any programs that help the poor and elderly so corporations who make billions can get money back from uncle Sam instead of paying taxes.
I have and idea that will create jobs and reduce the debt. First close these ridiculous loopholes and then give taxbreaks to companies who manufacture in the US and raise taxes on companies who send jobs overseas. It'll never happen though because of our corrupt political system and the influence corporate $$$ has on elections. We need to elect 3rd party candidates who aren't addicted to corporate $$ if there is ever going to be anything done to save our country. Sickening corporate greed- send jobs overseas and pay no taxes!
Geeeee..................Thanks GE! Another indignity thrown on the middle class. May Wal Mart acquire you and put y'all at minimum wage with no benefits with crappy hours.
Where is the outrage??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.