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GE Paid 2.3 Percent Tax Rate over 10 Years

February 28, 2012

General Electric paid an effective tax rate of only 2.3 percent on average over the past 10 years, according to the company’s annual 10-K report.

An analysis Monday by the group Citizens for Tax Justice found that the company’s pre-tax U.S. profits of nearly $81.2 billion over the 10-year period were often not taxed at all on the federal level. For 2011, GE did pay an 11.3 percent effective tax rate on over $9.1 billion in pre-tax U.S. profits, but in 2010 the company paid no federal income taxes and actually received over $3 billion in net tax benefits from the federal government on over $4.7 billion in profit.

CTJ director Bob McIntyre noted that at the end of 2011, GE reported that it has claimed $3.9 billion in cumulative income tax reductions on its tax returns over the years that it has not reported in its shareholder reports because it expects the IRS will not approve these “uncertain” tax breaks, and GE will have to give the money back.

Last November, CTJ issued a report on how GE and hundreds of other large multinational corporations shelter their profits from federal income taxes.

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