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GE Seems to Have Its Tax Planning Figured Out

And by "figured out," I'm referring to "worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and […] $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States," combined with a grand total $0.00 in taxes. "In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion," reports the Times. Sure the Internal Revenue Code is complex but if you're aggressive, have a few lobbyists at your disposal and your tax department is "often referred to as the best tax law firm," the IRC is a cakewalk.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether [NYT] See also: On GE's Pathological Aversion To Paying Taxes [ZH]