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Report: General Electric Paid No Federal Taxes Last Year

General Electric earned $14.2 billion last year — $5.1 billion of it from U.S. operations — and paid no federal taxes, The New York Times reports today.

According to the Times, G.E.'s "extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore."

The industrial giant has been so successful at cutting its tax bill, the Times adds, that G.E.'s tax department "is often referred to as the world's best tax law firm."

For their part, G.E. officials "say that these measures are necessary for G.E. to compete against global rivals," the Times writes. And company spokesman Anne Eisele says that "G.E. is committed to acting with integrity in relation to our tax obligations. ... At the same time, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to legally minimize our costs."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.