Don’t forget to file your taxes, America, because Amazon paid ZERO to Uncle Sam last year!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
By Paul Martin

Robert Bridge
20 Feb, 2019

Amazon ranks as the most valuable public company in the world, and is the second-largest employer in the United States. Yet, when it comes to paying its fair share in national taxes, Amazon looks like a deadbeat dad.
While Jeff Bezos was caught red-handed flashing around some random stuff last year, tax dollars from his multi-billionaire dollar Amazon empire weren’t among the booty.

Despite posting profits of over $11 billion last year, the online shopping empire didn’t pay a single penny in federal taxes in 2018. Thanks to the company’s busy bookkeepers, it found clever ways of actually getting a federal income tax rebate of $129 million, which essentially means Uncle Sam dropped a maraschino cherry on top of Amazon’s massive cash slushie.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon who once earned more on his lunch break than some countries earn in months, has been crowned the wealthiest person on the planet. Last year, his net worth smashed $150 billion – some $50 billion more than Microsoft’s CEO runner-up Bill Gates.

So, as average Americans prepare for the annual ritual of mailing their tax returns by the April 15 deadline, many do so in the knowledge that they will owe Uncle Sam some money. Behemoth companies like Amazon, however, rarely have such worries. They have the means to avoid paying what many believe are their rightful dues. This was not the way things were supposed to be.

In 2017, Donald Trump, in one of his first acts as president, signed the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Proponents of the legislation, underestimating the pervasive allure of greed, believed this reduction would make corporations more willing to crack open their purses and contribute their fair share to the tax load. Obviously, the plan backfired.

The new tax law “failed to broaden the tax base or close a slew of tax loopholes that allow profitable companies to routinely avoid paying federal and state income taxes on almost half of their profits,”according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

In its major study on the matter, the ITEP discovered that between the period 2008 to 2015, eighteen of the 258 Fortune 500 companies paid no federal income tax.

Meanwhile, as if to prove the maxim “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile,” the largest US corporations still turn to the government for subsidies. In other words, ‘socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.’

Public opinion, however, seems to be increasingly opposed to such free handouts to the insanely rich capitalist enterprises that are single-mindedly geared towards profits at the expense of everyone else.

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