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GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt Defends General Electric Tax Rate

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/25/2012 11:17 am Updated: 04/26/2012 9:51 am

Ge Ceo Jeffrey Immelt Tax Rate
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt. He said on Tuesday that GE paid a 29 percent tax rate last year.

General Electric's CEO has a message for people angry about reports that the company isn't paying enough in taxes: Move along, nothing to see here.

"Pay your fair share!" Occupy Wall Street protesters shouted during a speech by GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt in Detroit on Tuesday, according to several news outlets. "We pay taxes, and you should too," they shouted, according to CBS Detroit.

"Tax rate was 29 percent last year," Immelt replied as protestors were escorted out of the room, according to the Detroit News.

"The overall rate was 29 percent, the U.S. rate was 25 percent," Keith Sherin, GE's CFO, told Reuters on Friday. "For people to say we don't pay any taxes when you have those actual numbers, I just don't know what else they want us to do."

The top corporate tax rate currently is 35 percent. The Obama administration proposed in February lowering the top corporate tax rate to 28 percent in order to encourage corporations to repatriate their income to the U.S. Many currently keep cash outside the U.S. to avoid paying any taxes at all.

GE first came under scrutiny for its taxes after The New York Times reported last March that company paid no taxes at all in 2010.

A report from the left-leaning research group Citizens for Tax Justice in 2011, claimed that GE paid an effective federal income tax rate of 11.3 percent that year. The group reported that GE's effective federal income tax rate was negative 76.6 percent in 2010, negative 52.9 percent in 2009, and negative 14.0 percent in 2008, figures that GE has disputed. Another CTJ report claimed that GE has paid an average 2.3 percent tax rate over the past decade.

Twenty-six Fortune 500 companies, including GE, Pepco Holdings, and Duke Energy, paid no net federal income taxes between 2008 and 2011, according to CTJ.

The Greenlining Institute, a nonprofit research group, found earlier this month that last year, Apple paid a 9.8 percent income tax rate, Google paid an 11.9 percent income tax rate and Amazon paid a 3.5 percent income tax rate.

Corporate tax rates are at their lowest level in four decades, according to Congressional Budget Office statistics cited by The Wall Street Journal.

Check out the ten Fortune 500 companies that paid the least in federal income taxes last year, according to Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy:

10. Tenet Healthcare
1  of  11
Federal income tax rate on US profits 2008 to 2011: -8.2 percent
Federal income tax rate on US profits 2008 to 2010: -11.6 percent

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08:30 AM on 03/12/2013
THese creeps!!!!!If in fact their profits are overseas, they can leave their profits there and pay whatever taxes are appropriate to the country where they are earned, However, if the reason that they are avoiding US taxes are tax loopholes...Charge them the appropriate rates!!!!!It amazes me that Utilities like PSE&G and Wisconsin Power and PEPCO Holdings have extensive profits overseas unless they are setting up shell companies in Bermuda or the Caymans to hide the profits they make in acquisition of fuel and then sell it at a cost to their US subsidiaries that cause them to lose money

Hope the parents of the execs are caught in the squeeze and have reduced benefits
08:14 PM on 03/11/2013
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt. He said on Tuesday that GE paid a 29 percent tax rate last year. Really, Mr. Immelt. Produce the documentationt to prove it. Talk is cheap. I know we will never buy a piece of GE equipment for our laboratory. I wont get into their nonsense they gave us, but left us with a piece of scientific equipment that isnt worth pooh and offered no assistance. And yes, this expensive piece of equipment was paid for by the tax payer.
08:34 AM on 03/12/2013
While GE makes the best medical equipment in the world and best jet engines, Immelt is paid based on his world wide income. Hopefully he is paying 39.4% taxes on his personal income !!!
03:37 PM on 03/12/2013
I dont know about the best medical equipment in the world.  We have several pieces by several different manufactures (we develop molecular probes), and I cant speak to their development of engines, but we can only hope he will pay his fair share.
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Hang on Help is on the way
06:17 PM on 03/11/2013
Nope GE did not pay enough usa tax. And how much welfare did they get? How about write offs? Subsidies?
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Life is full of a number of things.
05:59 PM on 03/11/2013
This is easy. Prohibit government contracts to companies that shelter their profits offshore.
03:02 PM on 03/11/2013
Right thank to the revolving door from the Dept of the Treasury, and others regulatory offices, executive office and regulators. We are not that dumb.
07:32 AM on 04/27/2012
If this was a social experiment on fooling the stupid, the weak, the uneducated, it has been successful.

Corporations pay quarterly taxes, payroll, state, federal. Specific in the millions, and by year end adding up to a couple of billion or more.

Leave your tax accounting knowledge and tax law to those that are educated.

Often times in a down turn as we all have seen in the economy, businesses also have losses.

Sometimes that would mean they over paid taxes thus those monies would be returned in the manner of a "refund".

It is the law to pay quarterly taxes (or you pay a hefty fine plus interest) when you are in business and also some individuals that receive quarterly dividends do pay quarterly taxes on those monies.

If you over estimate what you owe, the money is returned to you in the way of a tax "refund".

One would have to be concerned and wonder what the motivation was for someone to start such a ridiculous rumor, or make outlandish statements.

Clearly this has made it obvious on how to control most of the people with silly allegations.
If this was a social experiment on ruling the stupid, the weak, the uneducated, it has been successful.

p.s. I got a tax "refund" because I overpaid my quarterly tax payments that I make to the EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System) . . . online.
02:59 PM on 04/26/2012
What those ignorant protesters don't seem to understand, or even know about, is that peoples 401K plans, pension plans, teacher and unions pension plans invest in GE. When they show a profit their pensions increase in value.
Majority rules, reform the filibuster
05:00 PM on 03/11/2013
So - therefore they shouldn't have to pay taxes when they are profitable? In fact, by working the books and the tax system they should actually get paid also? What happen to businesses and corporations standing on their own? Isn't that capitalism?
Mountain goat, desert rat and sea dog
02:56 PM on 04/26/2012
"We totally pay, what do you call them, where you pay Uncle Sam......... taxes! Taxes, we pay them!
Miss Muffett
Don't worry about money - it will go away.
01:44 PM on 04/26/2012
We're not saying GE doesn't pay any taxes.

We're saying that once their taxes are paid and their returns filed, they get back $2.5 billion more than you paid in.

That's a negative tax rate.

As in, no, you do not actually pay taxes.
01:05 PM on 04/27/2012
Comment on something you have knowledge and the grasp of.

Clearly you are not using Intellect to decipher this silly business of corporations not paying taxes.

In fact you are the problem part of the rumor mongering on something you know nothing about.
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12:03 PM on 04/26/2012
He can say anything he likes.

As we see from all the different numbers in this story, people disagree. There are so many legal ways to evade taxes, and so many illegal ways that no one will ever be able to prove, that this porky, soulless fool can tell the media any number that comes to mind.

A right-wing, corporate-funded think-tank economist will confirm his every syllable.
No matter how much credible evidence says otherwise, both 'opinions' will be given equal weight in the corporate press.

"The Easter Bunny is my top investment analyst!"
"The Easter Bunny doesn't exist."

Who's right? You make the call, America!
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equal-opportunity Independent heathen
10:36 AM on 04/26/2012
Would you buy a used car from Immelt? As the "jobs czar" he bragged about job creation. Just one little problem - those jobs were in China, where GE was expanding.
09:34 AM on 04/26/2012
Another sociopath speaks. He should be in Gitmo, not lecturing us about how it is. We know how it is.
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Make Corporations Pay
08:12 AM on 04/26/2012
Paying lobbyists is not the same as paying taxes.
If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally
07:20 AM on 04/26/2012
But! But! I thought you "couldn't tax corporations" because they just pass the tax on to the consumers?

It's so hard to keep up sometimes.
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12:15 PM on 04/26/2012
It is possible to tax corporations at the individual investor end, where corporate profits are disbursed in the form of dividends and capital gains. That's why it's crucial that dividends and capital gains be taxed as ordinary income.

Corporate tax revenue, as a percentage of total federal tax revenue, has declined considerably over the past thirty years. That corresponds with the corporate income tax rate being at its lowest rate in forty years. So there is an obvious connection.

At the same time, the individual federal income tax rate has been cut in half since 1980 from 70% to 35% and as a result, the national debt has exploded. There lies another obvious connection.
12:51 PM on 03/11/2013
No taxes and their prices still go up; who u fooling????
NC Democrat 12
Progress is Evolution
02:58 AM on 04/26/2012
After all the tax breaks that GE has enjoyed, especially during the Bush administration, I'm sure they consider the pitance they paid as overwhelming.
01:10 PM on 04/27/2012
I wouldn't say a couple billion in taxes paid is pitance. Educate yourself - don't believe all the blogging nonsense you read, you are wasting your time. You don't really think the US Tax structure is so blind to deny itself its' just due?
Majority rules, reform the filibuster
05:04 PM on 03/11/2013
Actually, I do! Mainly since it was written by lobbyist from these corporations.