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Monday, November 08, 2010

GM's loss is Uncle Sam's . . . loss, too

General Motors can see a silver lining in those billions of dollars in losses it piled up in the years before declaring bankruptcy in 2009. So-called tax loss carry forwards will allow the company to avoid about $45 billion in taxes on future profits, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The giant tax break will be good for up to 20 years.

GM might have lost those accounting provisions when it emerged from bankruptcy as a new company last year. That's what normally happens when a company undergoes a major change in ownership as part of a restructuring.

But a little-noticed ruling by the feds last year allows companies that got a bailout under the Troubled Asset Relief Program to retain those tax benefits, the newspaper said. So GM can keep more of its future profits.

The tax benefits were cited in the public disclosure preceding GM's initial public offering of stock, which will be launched this month.

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