[Note – this story is not completely true. While News Corp is one of the top three big companies in their utilization of tax havens, they did indeed pay taxes. They changed the way they report information in 2007, which caused confusion. See the link at the end of this posting for more info.]

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, made over $10 billion in profits over the last four years, but their taxes over the same time were $4.8 billion — negative. Let me be clear, they didn’t just not pay any taxes, they received $4.8 billion from the government.

How did they do this? By being one of the top companies utilizing tax havens to shift their profits to other countries and using other tax tricks to make it look like they lost money.

The real scandal is that all of this is legal. When you are a powerful enough corporation, you can get laws changed to work in your favor.

UPDATE: NPR has withdrawn this story without explanation. Hopefully we’ll learn more later.

UPDATE 2: Here’s the explanation: http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2011/07/14/how-i-misread-news-corps-taxes/