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Report Brings GE's 2.3% Tax Bite to Light

General Electric (GE)  records show that it pays far, far less in taxes than us ordinary taxpayers. So much for the claim that corporate taxes are too high.

GE’s Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filing for 2011 reveals that the company paid at most 2.3 percent of its $81.2 billion in U.S. pretax profits in federal income taxes during the past the past 10 years.

Last year when it was revealed that GE paid no federal income taxes in 2010 and in fact enjoyed $3 billion in net tax benefits, a company spokesman said:

GE did not pay U.S. federal taxes last year because we did not owe any... [but] our 2011 tax rate is slated to return to more normal levels with GE Capital’s recovery.

An examination of its 10-K filing  shows that in 2011, GE’s effective federal income tax rate was only 11.3 percent, less than a third the official 35 percent corporate tax rate, according to Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ). Says CTJ Director Bob McIntyre:

I don’t think most Americans would consider 11.3 percent, not to mention GE’s long-term effective rate of 2.3 percent, to be "normal." But for GE, taxes are something to be avoided rather than paid.

Read more from CTJ here.

GE is one of 280 profitable Fortune 500 companies profiled in “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010.” The report shows GE is one of 30 major U.S. corporations that paid zero—or less—in federal income taxes in the past three years. The full report, a joint project of CTJ and Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is at http://ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/.

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