Jeff Bezos comes out in help of elevated company taxes

2021-04-07 04:43:46

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos mentioned in a assertion Tuesday that the corporate is “supportive of an increase within the company tax charge.”

“We help the Biden Administration’s deal with making daring investments in American infrastructure,” Bezos mentioned. “Each Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure previously, and it is the best time to work collectively to make this occur. We acknowledge this funding would require concessions from all sides — each on the specifics of what is included in addition to the way it will get paid for.”

In 2019, the then-former Vice President Joe Biden known as out Amazon for its historical past of utilizing tax credit and deductions to cut back its company earnings tax invoice. The firm fired again, saying, “we pay each penny we owe,” and that it had paid $2.6 billion in company taxes since 2016.
And once more final yr, then-Presidential candidate Biden mentioned Amazon ought to “begin paying their taxes,” as a part of a broader critique of enormous, profitable companies. Amazon has repeatedly mentioned that it follows all relevant tax legal guidelines.
The corporate additionally not too long ago sparred with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has advocated for elevating taxes on massive firms. Final month Warren mentioned in a tweet: “Large firms like Amazon report large earnings to their shareholders — however they exploit loopholes and tax havens to pay near nothing in taxes. That is simply not proper.”
Amazon responded to her, saying: “You make the tax legal guidelines @SenWarren; we simply observe them. For those who do not just like the legal guidelines you have created, by all means, change them. Listed here are the information: Amazon has paid billions of {dollars} in company taxes over the previous few years alone.”
For the 2017 and 2018 tax years, Amazon’s monetary filings confirmed that it anticipated to obtain a reimbursement from the federal authorities, not that it owed cash in earnings tax. For the 2019 tax yr, Amazon mentioned it owed greater than $1 billion in federal earnings tax, a determine consultants mentioned amounted to little greater than 1% of its earnings.
In 2020, Amazon paid $1.7 billion in federal taxes, the corporate mentioned in its response to Warren. Its internet earnings for the yr was $21.3 billion.

Whereas it has already drawn some criticism, the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan could also be compelling sufficient to persuade extra company leaders to signal on in help of climbing enterprise taxes.

Bezos mentioned in his assertion: “We look ahead to Congress and the Administration coming collectively to seek out the best, balanced answer that maintains or enhances U.S. competitiveness.”

And he is not alone. Rick Rieder, chief funding officer of worldwide mounted earnings for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset supervisor, mentioned rolling again Trump-era company tax cuts will not harm the economic system — and will truly be constructive for development.
Rieder instructed CNN Enterprise final month that he thinks the US economic system can “undoubtedly” stand up to greater company taxes, and prompt that elevating the company charge may assist be certain that financial positive factors are distributed extra evenly amongst firms and employees.

“The US economic system is amazingly resilient,” he mentioned, “and in reality will carry out effectively whenever you get a few of this earnings redistribution and consumption at a better and a greater place, significantly for decrease and center earnings.”

–CNN’s Brian Fung and Matt Egan contributed to this report

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