“We support the Biden administration’s desire to make bold investments in US infrastructure,” Bezos said. “Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure in the past, and now is the right time to work together to make it happen. We recognize that this investment will require concessions from all sides – both on the details of what is included and on how it is paid. for. “
In 2019, former vice president Joe Biden called
Amazon for its history of using tax credits and deductions to lower its corporate income tax bill. The company retaliated by saying, “We pay every penny we owe” and that it had paid $ 2.6 billion in corporate taxes since 2016.
And again last year, then-presidential candidate Biden said Amazon should “start paying its taxes,” as part of a broader critique of big, successful companies. Amazon has repeatedly said it follows all applicable tax laws.
The company also recently had an argument with Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has advocated for increased taxes on big business. Last month, Warren said in a Tweeter
: “Giant companies like Amazon make huge profits for their shareholders – but they exploit loopholes and tax havens to pay next to nothing in taxes. It just isn’t fair.”
Amazon replied, saying
: “You make the tax laws @SenWarren; we just follow them. If you don’t like the laws you created, change them by all means. Here are the facts: Amazon has paid billions of dollars in taxes on companies more than the last few years. ”
For the 2017 and 2018 tax years, Amazon’s financial statements showed that it expected to receive money from the federal government, not that it owed money under the. income tax. For the 2019 tax year, Amazon said it owed more than $ 1 billion in federal income tax, a figure experts say represents just over 1% of its profits.
In 2020, Amazon paid $ 1.7 billion in federal taxes, the company said
in his response to Warren. Its net profit for the year was $ 21.3 billion.
While it has already attracted criticism, the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan may be compelling enough to convince more business leaders to commit to higher corporate taxes.
Bezos said in his statement, “We look forward to Congress and the administration come together to find the just and balanced solution that maintains or enhances the competitiveness of the United States.”
And he is not alone. Rick Rieder, director of global fixed income investments at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said cutting Trump-era corporate tax cuts would not hurt the economy – and could in fact be positive for growth.
Rieder told CNN Business last month that he believed the U.S. economy could “certainly” withstand higher corporate taxes, and suggested that raising the corporate rate could help ensure that earnings are distributed more evenly between firms and workers.
“The US economy is incredibly resilient,” he said, “and in fact, it will work well when you get some of this redistribution of income and consumption to an easier and better place, especially for low and middle income. “
– CNN’s Brian Fung and Matt Egan contributed to this report