Senator Professor Warren seems to have struck a nerve to get Amazon’s attention (probably more specifically she got the attention of dick pix King Bezos):
…so I went looking for her plan, and found it on Medium:
“It’s almost Tax Day, and chances are you’ll be paying federal taxes this year. Maybe it’s a lot, maybe it’s a little. But you’ll be kicking in something for our military, for medical research, for highways and bridges — the kinds of investments our federal government makes to defend our country and strengthen our economy.“Well, guess what? You will be paying more for running the federal government than a bunch of big American corporations that made billions of dollars in profits in the last year.
Amazon reported more than $10 billion in profits and paid zero federal corporate income taxes. Occidental Petroleum reported $4.1 billion in profits and paid zero federal corporate income taxes.
The corner office in Seattle just plotzed.
I could hear it at Tengrain’s Little Hut on the top of Capitol Hill. (Also note when Seattle attempted to have a headcount tax [to address the homeless crisis that Amazon engineers causing rising rents has displaced lower-income people in the City] is when Bezos started the hunt for HQ2; the headcount tax was shelved, as was apparently HQ2. What a coinkydink!)
The 7 percent tax would kick in at the first dollar over $100 million in profits.
Warren says raising the current corporate tax rate won’t work because the current tax laws are so littered with loopholes that highly paid lawyers and accountants would just find another way around it. Remember: Amazon paid $0.00 Ameros in taxes last year.
This is eye opening:
“There are two sets of rules for reporting a company’s profits. Companies follow established financial accounting rules to calculate the value of the profits they report to shareholders and the public. But they follow a different set of tax accounting rules to calculate the “profits” they report to the IRS and pay corporate income taxes on. Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes.
“That’s why I’m proposing a big new idea: the Real Corporate Profits Tax.This new tax applies to the profits very large American companies report to their investors — with no loopholes or exemptions. It will make our biggest and most profitable corporations pay more and ensure that none of them can ever make billions and pay zero taxes again…
“That means Amazon would pay $698 million in taxes instead of paying zero. And Occidental Petroleum would pay $280 million in taxes instead of paying zero.”
So corporations have an incentive to report as low a profit as possible to the I.R.S., Warren’s proposed 7% tax would apply to the figure they report to shareholders and the public.
So who they gonna lie to? This is pretty ingenious.
Crossposted from Mock Paper Scissors