Through the use of legal tax shelters and benefits, General Electric (GE), the largest corporation in the world, was on track to pay approximately nothing in U.S. taxes on more than $14.2 billion in profits last year.
Facing public outcry over this revelation, the company has decided to take an unprecedented route, pledging to donate its entire $3.2 billion tax return to the U.S. Treasury.
Or rather, that's what the Associated Press was reporting Wednesday morning.
Turns out, it's not true -- and the whole embarrassment could have been avoided with a phone call.
"All seven of our foreign tax havens are entirely legal," a fake media advisory, published to a website not affiliated with GE, claimed CEO Jeffrey Immelt had said. "But Americans have made it clear that they deplore laws that enable tax avoidance.
"While we owe it to our shareholders to use every legal loophole to maximize returns – we also owe something to the American people. We didn't write the laws that let us legally avoid paying taxes. Congress did. But we benefit from those laws, and now we'd like to share those benefits."