Yep. I am (or was) one of those bean counters, CFO for several companies. I've signed more tax returns than the number of days the POTUSA has been in office...<quoted text>
Yeah, but what I can deduct and what you can, or could when you were working, is different.
The big difference is in the accounting and legal counsel, and tax breaks. You're under the mistaken impression that "the law" applies equally to everyone. It does - until the special (accounting) conditions, the details and tax breaks, kick in.
Remember, bean-counters rule the world!
Aside: GE doesn't pay corporate tax, HD does, a little.
The GE tax situation has been addressed ad nauseum in here.
To say GE doesn't pay corporate tax (based upon one year, 2010 I believe) is misinformed about how the tax system works (NOLs, investment credits, etc.).