Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gave support to plans to raise the corporate tax rate and undertake a massive infrastructure program. Given his recent brushes with President Joe Biden regarding Amazon’s taxes, this announcement surprised many people.
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Jeff Bezos Supports Infrastructure Investments
In a statement released on Amazon’s company website, Bezos said the company eagerly awaits what Congress and the White House agree on. “We support the Biden Administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure. Both Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure in the past, and it’s the right time to work together to make this happen. We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides, both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate). We look forward to Congress and the Administration coming together to find the right, balanced solution that maintains or enhances US competitiveness,” the entire tweet read.
Biden’s Grand Plans
A week ago, the President announced plans to introduce a $2 trillion infrastructure package. The program aims to repair or upgrade the country’s road and public transportation network, which includes trainways and airports. The plan also calls for affordable housing and replacing lead water pipes to safer alternatives, and investments for elderly and disabled Americans. In addition, the program will also allocate funds to advance American manufacturing and job-training efforts.
In order to raise money for the ambitious program, Biden proposed getting more from corporations in the form of additional tax rates. Previously, President Donald Trump cut corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% as part of his tax reform campaign. Now, Biden wants to raise taxes back to 28%.
Biden Critical of Amazon and Jeff Bezos
The tweet from Jeff Bezos supporting the tax increase surprised many, probably including the President himself. Biden often singled out Amazon as a notorious tax dodger. During his presidential campaign last May, Biden said that the online retailer “should start paying their taxes” instead of using technicalities to avoid them. Then, during last week’s announcement of his plan, Biden again called out Amazon. He pointed out that the company used “various loopholes so they’d pay not a single solitary penny in federal income tax.”
Meanwhile, Amazon’s top spokesperson Jay Carney defended the company’s business practices. “If the R&D Tax Credit is a ‘loophole,’ it’s certainly one Congress strongly intended. The R&D Tax credit has existed since 1981, was extended 15 times with bi-partisan support, and was made permanent in 2015 in a law signed by President Obama,” he tweeted.
Amazon Is Paying Federal Taxes
Amazon, with a current market value of $1.6 trillion, gained fame for using deductions and credits to reduce their taxes to zero. Records did show that Amazon did not pay any federal taxes in 2017 and 2018. However, things changed over the last few years, as the retailer paid $162 million in taxes the following year. Last year, the company disclosed it paid a total of $1.7 billion in federal taxes. However, it earned a total US income of $20.2 billion, which means Amazon paid 8% in taxes. It’s not the same as 21%, but they’re paying what’s legally due to them.
Watch the Bloomberg QuickTake News on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, as he said he supports Infrastructure Bill, Corporate Tax Hike:
What do you think about Biden’s proposal to hike taxes for corporations to fund his infrastructure program? Also, what do you think about Amazon’s ability to pay lower taxes? Let us know what you think about taxes in American corporations. Share your thoughts below.