Did you hear about General Electric deciding to pay back the $3.2 billion tax refund it got in 2010?
It was a hoax.
But the fake news release was good enough to fool the Associated Press, which received the email announcement of GE's supposed change of heart following public outrage at the corporate giant's ability last year to avoid U.S. taxes and in fact receive a substantial tax refund.
The faux press release reportedly included a GE logo and a link to a website designed to look like GE's real online home.
Members of the Yes Men, a prankster group that pulled off similar satrical stunts in the past, claimed responsibility for the hoax because, as one member of the group told Reuters, GE's refund "is unpatriotic, it's undemocratic, it's unfair. It might be legal but it's immoral."
The AP published a 90-word story based on the release earlier today. It pulled the story 35 minutes later after discovering it was false.
While the story might be officially declared wrong and gone, thanks to the Internet you might still see this fake refund payback pop up on some blogs or via emails.
Ignore it. It's just wishful tax thinking.
- One more take on G.E., corporate taxes and the GOP budget plan
- GE and 14 other tax dodging companies
- Corporate taxes: time to cut the tax rate
or to make sure companies pay at all?
- Golly GE-e, that's one enormous e-filing
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