Business & Lobbying

Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that the company is supportive of raising the corporate tax rate to pay for President Biden’s infrastructure package. 

Bezos released a statement that he supports the administration’s focus on infrastructure and that “it’s the right time to work together” to pass a package.

“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),” Bezos said.

Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure package would increase the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and establish a minimum global tax. 

The 2017 GOP tax law lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Amazon paid $0 in federal income tax in 2017 and 2018 and owed the federal government only $162 million in 2019, CNBC reported last year. The money owed was roughly 1.2 percent of the pre-tax income Amazon reported for 2019. 

Amazon reported $1.7 billion in federal income tax expense in 2020 and $1.8 billion in other federal taxes, according to the company. It also paid $2.6 billion in state and local taxes and collected nearly $18 billion in sales taxes for states and localities.

At least 55 of the largest U.S. companies didn’t pay taxes in 2020, but Amazon was not one of them, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

Industry groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable quickly opposed the tax increase when it was announced as part of Biden’s package last week. Bezos is a member of the Business Roundtable.

The White House has said that this is the beginning of the process and negotiations are just getting started, with Biden indicating he’s open to other ideas to pay for the plan.

“We have to move now. Because I am convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say, this was the moment that America won the future,” the president said when introducing the proposal in Pittsburgh.

Sylvan Lane contributed to this report. Updated at 5:29 p.m.

Tags Amazon Biden infrastructure Corporate tax corporate tax rate Jeff Bezos Joe Biden
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