It seems Amazon isn’t paying enough corporate taxes to suit Progressive-Democrats.
In its annual regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jeff Bezos’ sprawling e-commerce empire said it paid $162 million in federal income taxes on $13.3 billion of US pre-tax income, an effective tax rate of 1.2%. It deferred more than $914 million in taxes.
All perfectly legal, too, yet the hue and cry is loud. Matthew Gardner, Senior Fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, for instance:
This means that instead of avoiding 100 percent of its income tax liability, Amazon appears to have avoided only 94 percent of its tax bill last year[.]
Not at all. Amazon, unless Gardner is going to allege actual tax fraud, paid 100% of its actual tax liability, after accounting for all of the credits, deductions, and other loopholes our byzantine tax code allows corporations. Amazon just didn’t pay its “fair share,” whatever carefully nebulous sum that amounts to.
The hue and cry is accurate, though not in the way the Left would have us believe. As someone almost said once, the fault is not in our corporatoins, but in our tax code.
Everything Amazon did was legal, and it would have been an abuse of the company’s fiduciary duty to its owners not to take advantage of the opportunities—Amazon’s tax bill and overall tax rate are an illustration of the failures of a tax code that has all of those vasty loopholes, gaps, deductions, credits, etc.
A single low, flat tax rate that treats all income identically, regardless of source, and that has no loopholes, gaps, deductions, credits, etc, would do wonders for our economy, increase the revenues ultimately remitted to Government, and enhance both private citizens’ and Government’s (in that order) ability to see to the least among us.
Mind you, that low, flat tax rate should be applicable only to personal income. Corporations should be assessed no income tax at all; they don’t pay those taxes anyway, not even that 1.2%: their customers, ultimately us individual persons, do in the form of higher prices.