Quite remarkable, he entirely fails to note the most important point that GE itself makes about its taxes.
We just said you spend a lot of money make sure sound public policy accords with GE’s view of what sound public policy should be.
And we questioned the ethics of that.
And the fact it meant you paid no tax in the US in 2010.
Yes, yes, blather, blather.
The actual important point is:
Significant losses at GE Capital during the financial crisis, largely in the United States, reduced GE’s overall tax rate below historic levels the past few years. Those losses and the subsequent reduction in taxes owed is not a “tax avoidance” strategy. Taking out GE Capital makes GE’s effective tax rate 21% over the past several years. GE’s consolidated (or overall) effective tax rate prior to the financial crisis was in the teens to more than 20%.
They made losses. Losses are offset against profits, either immediately (as, say, The Guardian does, offsetting the losses made by The G against profits from other parts of the company, GMG) or over time.
Wouldn’t matters be clearer if one of the country’s leading tax experts could bring himself to note such points?