General Electric filed more than 7,000 income tax returns in hundreds of global jurisdictions last year, but when push came to shove, the company owed the U.S. government a whopping bill of $0.
How’d it pull off that trick? By losing lots of money.
GE had plenty of earnings last year — just not in the United States. For tax purposes, the company’s U.S. operations lost $408 million, while its international businesses netted a $10.8 billion profit.