SPONSORED:

Biden criticizes Amazon for paying $0 in corporate taxes

Biden criticizes Amazon for paying $0 in corporate taxes

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE on Thursday criticized online retail giant Amazon for paying nothing in corporate taxes last year, making him the latest presidential candidate to slam one of the most profitable companies over its effective tax rate of below zero.

"I have nothing against Amazon, but no company pulling in billions of dollars of profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers," Biden tweeted. "We need to reward work, not just wealth."

report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy earlier this year found that 60 Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, avoided paying any federal income taxes in 2018.
 
Amazon, which had $11.2 billion in profits last year, has become a prime target for Democrats seeking to criticize corporate power, potentially anticompetitive practices and dangerous working conditions.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The company has been accused of mistreating warehouse workers, and it's facing multiple lawsuits from former employees who said they were treated inhumanely at the facilities. Amazon has said it treats its workers fairly.

Biden jumped into the fray earlier this week, slamming the company at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday.

"I've got nothing against Amazon," Biden said. "But they should pay a few taxes, you know what I mean? What happens? It's all you guys. No, I'm serious."

In a statement to The Hill, an Amazon spokesperson defended the company's record on taxes.

“Amazon pays all the taxes we are required to pay in the U.S. and every country where we operate, including paying $2.6 billion in corporate tax and reporting $3.4 billion in tax expense over the last three years," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The government has designed corporate tax law to encourage businesses of all sizes to invest in the U.S. economy to drive growth and create jobs."

The spokesperson added that the company invested more than $50 billion and created 45,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs last year.

Biden's remark that he has "nothing against Amazon" raised eyebrows, as it comes amid a furious backlash in Washington against the country's top tech giants. Lawmakers and advocates have accused Amazon of wielding its corporate power to the detriment of other companies and workers.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Mass.) has called for the government to break up Amazon, criticizing the company for running an online retail store while also selling products on the platform.

"Amazon crushes small companies by copying the goods they sell on the Amazon Marketplace and then selling its own branded version," Warren wrote in a blog post laying out her plans to break up tech companies like Facebook and Google.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFormer Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Woman who made Sanders's mittens says she's sold out MORE (I-Vt.) has taken Amazon to task over its working conditions, among other things.

The company has also drawn the ire of President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE, who has insulted CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosAmazon suspends Parler from web hosting service World's richest people added .8T to their combined wealth in 2020 Amazon delivered more than 1.5 billion items over holiday season MORE, who also owns The Washington Post. The president has accused the Post of being biased against him.

Earlier this week, Trump accused Amazon of colluding with Democrats to "discriminate" against him.

Updated at 12:35 p.m.