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GM's federal income tax bill: Zilch

GM's federal income tax bill: Zilch
Card are shown at the General Motors area during the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place on February 9, 2012 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

DETROIT, May 4 (UPI) -- A spokesman for U.S. automaker General Motors said the company paid no federal income tax for 2011 despite earnings of $13 billion since 2009.

"We did not pay federal income tax last year," said GM spokesman Jim Cain.

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The Detroit News reported Friday GM earned profits of $1 billion in January through March but may not have a federal tax bill to pay "for many more years."

The tax-free years are the result of GM's stint in bankruptcy in 2009.

The newspaper reported the Treasury Department gave GM permission to use the $18 billion in losses from the pre-bankruptcy company, the so-called old GM, to cancel out any profits it has made since it emerged from bankruptcy.

In essence, GM would have to make $1 billion for 18 consecutive quarters before the federal government, which bailed out the company, sees a nickel in income tax from GM.

GM, however, said it pays "significant" state taxes and has a 13 percent worldwide tax rate.

Ford Motor Co. spokesman Todd Nissen said Ford does not reveal its tax bills per country, although it paid $268 million in worldwide income taxes in 2011 on income of $7.8 billion.

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The third of Detroit's Big 3, Chrysler Group, is set up as a limited liability partnership, so the company does not pay any federal income tax, either.

Instead, Chrysler's owners pay federal income tax, while the company pays state and foreign taxes, which totaled $92 million in 2011.

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