NEWS > BUSINESS > GE TO AID IN JAPANESE RECOVERY EFFORT IN EXCHANGE FOR TAX BREAKS
GE TO AID IN JAPANESE RECOVERY EFFORT IN EXCHANGE FOR TAX BREAKS
April 4 2011
Fairfield, CT – For the people of Japan it is likely that March 11th 2011 will stand as one of the great moments in their long history, a day that will live in infamy forever. While the earthquake and tsunami that occurred that day are far from the worst
natural disasters to every strike the modern world, or even Japan, the enormity of the problem and the seemingly unstoppable after effects have made that day something else entirely, a horror unlike anything any nation has encountered.
One day the country will recover. People will move back into the damaged lands, rebuild their homes, and start again but it is likely that no one will ever forget that momentous day and pass it down through generations. For now though the historical perspective is far from the minds of most people in the country as they continue to struggle with the crisis. Of course, they haven’t been struggling alone. Thousands of people from most of the nations of the world have descended on the injured area offering any and all assistance that the people need. As happens in most major tragedies, the true nature of the human spirit has shone through in this event with people helping people for that reason alone. Some though are not in the country for purely
altruistic reasons though are helping nonetheless. GE for example has pledged fresh aid for the country, providing energy for the crippled nuclear reactor, in exchange for tax breaks in that country and at home.
“(Jeff) Immelt said GE would cooperate with TEPCO on restarting and strengthening its thermal power generation in anticipation of the rise in power demand for the summer. As one of the manufacturers (of the reactors), he wanted to say GE wants to provide ideas to help resolve the situation,” said a spokesperson for TEPCO, the owner of the reactors. “In exchange for this essential help we have reached a deal with government to reduce the tax burden to General Electric in Japan in an effort to aid in their own economic recovery.”
In recent weeks, GE has become a focus of unwanted attention for its efforts to eliminate its tax burden, having made a profit from taxation for the last five years.
“This help with the situation in Japan will certainly do a lot to aid in the recovery of the public image of GE but the notion of tax breaks may end up causing them fresh problems,” said Scrape TV Business analyst Ken Green. “I mean the last thing they want is for people to think they are doing this simply in an effort to make money. I mean they are of course, doing it to make money, I mean, but to be seen as doing that is something else entirely. The last thing they want is for people to think that they are doing this just for the tax incentives.”
GE reported that 2010 tax profits were reduced from the previous four years.
“They will also apparently be giving TEPCO a bit of a discount on the power which considering the billions they are already on the hook for is really a nice gesture. Of course that will also give them the opportunity to use that discount as an expenditure and then write it off at home,” continued Green. “I’m sure they really just want to help though and that the tax relief is just one of many benefits to the company as they aid the Japanese people and help them get back on their feet.”
GE reportedly broke even in Japan last year, tax wise anyway.
William Ashford, Business Correspondent