General Electric paid nothing in federal taxes last year, despite netting $5.1 billion in profits from its U.S. operations, the New York Times reports.
Using a combination of lobbying and what the Times describes as "innovative accounting," the conglomerate has been slashing its tax bill for years. And, in 2010, the company actually got a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
For such windfalls, GE can thank its large internal tax division, which is filled with former federal officials from Treasury, the I.R.S. and tax-writing committees in Congress. This team, the newpaper quips, has clearly earned the firm's slogan, "Imagination at Work."