Big Tech and Taxes
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- A Study By Fair Tax Mark, A British Organization That Certified Businesses For Good Tax Conduct, Found That Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, And Microsoft Had A Combined “Tax Gap” Of More Than $100 Billion From 2010 To 2019.
- “Tax Gap” Referred To The Difference Between A Company’s Tax Provisions, Or Amount They Set Aside For Taxes In Their Financial Reports, And The Amount They Actually Paid To The Government.
- 2010 – 2017: The Six Companies Examined In The Study Paid An
- Average 15.9 Percent Overall Corporate Tax Rate At A Time When The Headline Rate In The U.S. Was 35 Percent.
- Fair Tax Mark Reported That The Bulk Of The Shortfall “Almost Certainly Arose Outside The United States,” With Foreign Tax Charges Amounting To Just 8.4% Of The Profit The Companies Made Overseas During The Decade.
- Anup Srivastava, An Associate Professor At The Haskayne School Of Business In Canada, Said Low Tax Rates Paid By Big Tech Companies Were Due To Both Tax Avoidance Strategies And An Outdated International Tax System.
- Tech Monitor Reported That Big Tech Companies Paid Much Lower Tax Rates Outside Of The U.S. Despite Considerable Revenue Gains.
Political Criticism of Big Tech Tax Avoidance
- June 2019: While Campaigning For President, Biden Named Amazon And Said No Company Making Billions In Profits Should Pay A Lower Tax Rate Than Firefighters And Teachers.
- April 2021: Biden Proposed An Infrastructure Plan That Would Increase The Corporate Tax Rate From 21 Percent To 28 Percent And Singled Out Amazon For “Us[ing] Various Loopholes Where They Pay Not A Single Solitary Penny In Federal Income Tax.”
- Sen. Bernie Sanders Was A Vocal Critic Of Amazon Over Its Tax Contributions And Introduced The “Stop BEZOS Act,” Which Would Make Big Corporations Pay Workers More Or Pay The Government For Public Benefits That Their Workers Received.
- April 2021: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Introduced The Real Corporate Profits Tax, A Seven Percent Tax On Book Income, In Response To Big Tech Companies Avoiding Federal Income Taxes.
- Warren: “Congress Didn’t Wake Up One Morning And Say, ‘Let’s Punch Enough Holes In The Tax Code So That Amazon And Netflix Can Earn Billions And Pay Nothing.’ Those Giant Corporations Have Invested Millions Of Dollars Lobbying Congress To Build Those Tax Loopholes So That They Can Then Save Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Taxes.”
- March 2018: In A Tweet, Trump Accused Amazon Of Not Paying Its Fair Share In Taxes.
- Trump Took Issue With Amazon’s Practice Of Not Collecting State Sales Taxes For Third-Party Sellers On Its Platform In Most Of The Country.
- Trump: “I Have Stated My Concerns With Amazon Long Before The Election. Unlike Others, They Pay Little Or No Taxes To State & Local Governments.”
- CNBC: “Trump Is A Frequent Critic Of Amazon For Paying ‘Little Or No Taxes To State And Local Governments,’ Though The Trump Administration’s 2017 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Helped To Lower The Statutory Corporate Tax Rate.”