GM Earns Profit, Dodges Big Tax Bill, Report Says

By Michelle Krebs February 23, 2011

The U.S. Treasury is giving up $14 billion in tax revenue, because of a "sweetheart deal" it's giving U.S. automaker General Motors that's about to start paying off, reports. On Thursday, GM will report its first year in the black since 2004. However, GM will not be hit with a big tax bill on those earnings because billions in previous losses will shelter it from taxes for years to come, reports. That break will reduce GM's U.S. tax bill by an estimated $14 billion in the coming years and its global taxes by close to $19 billion, according to a company filing quoted by the Web site.

GM tax explains that companies typically get a break on future taxes because of past losses. But in most cases they lose that tax break during bankruptcy, because the losses are offset by the income the company receives from shedding its debt. GM shed $30 billion in debt during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, and GM warned it expected to lose those tax breaks. However, notes, “somehow, that never happened.” GM kept most of its tax breaks, essentially receiving a $14 billion "gift" from the government.

How and why that happened is unclear. But academic and finance experts told that GM got preferential treatment likely because of the unprecedented government-aided bankruptcy process it went through. GM and Treasury Department officials denied to that GM got special treatment. The experts speculated that the government may have allowed GM to claim the loss to “reduce the perceived cost of the bailout” or to make GM’s stock more attractive and easier to sell for last November’s initial public offering.

Before GM’s IPO, U.S. taxpayers held 61 percent of GM’s stock; they received $13.5 billion – or about three quarters of the proceeds – from GM’s record first-day back on the stock market. So while taxpayers received some benefit from the tax break, one expert told, that offset only a small fraction of the tax revenue the U.S. government gives up.

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with says: 7:58 AM, 02.23.11

GM pay taxes? haha.

They are too busy passing out bonuses to UAW workers and executives for their fantastic work in driving the company into bankruptcy.

usa1 says: 4:53 AM, 02.24.11

This was widely reported about a year ago. This is old news.


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