WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- General Electric's international business made $10.8 billion in profits in 2009, but its U.S. tax bill was a nice round number -- zero, the company says.
Despite its profitable overseas activities, GE's U.S. operations posted a loss of $408 million, meaning it owed the U.S. government nothing in taxes, CNN reported Friday.
Corporations normally pay a 35 percent federal income tax on their earnings. Thanks to deductions and adjustments, GE's actual U.S. federal income tax rate was negative 10.5 percent, CNN said.
"This is the first time in at least decades that GE has reported negative U.S. pretax income and it reflects the worst economy since the Great Depression," Anne Eisele, GE's director of financial communications, said.
But GE won't completely escape tax-related pain. It paid nearly $23 billion in taxes to world governments from 2000 to 2009, Eisele said.
General Electric filed more than 7,000 income tax returns in hundreds of global jurisdictions last year, CNN reported.