Amazon pays no Federal tax on 11.2 Billion in profit. How so?

I guess lowering the rate from 35% to 21% means just that Amazon is not saving as much in taxes as they used to.

Meanwhile the rest of us are carrying its obligation via our taxes and the rising debt load.

I understand some of the loopholes. Honestly, though, if a company loses money then no tax payments are certainly understandable. Yet, when it does turn things around, it still pays no taxes.

Go figure. Or at least that is what Amazon accountants do…and very, very well.

Question: Does that make Amazon one of the 47% who “freeload” according to conservative thinking?

Yes, yes. I know that corporate income taxes are eventually paid by the consumer. So, is that tax break passed on to us? Hard to tell. Which, of course is the point.

The tax “reform” bill didn’t reform diddly. It just cut the taxes for the select few (some crumbs for voters too, to be fair) with borrowed money from a government already burdened with debt.

No swamp drained at all. Just replaced the water with Evian.


6 thoughts on “Amazon pays no Federal tax on 11.2 Billion in profit. How so?

  1. I’ll be hard-pressed to vote for Warren, but she has a point about the control that Corporate America (they are people of course) have on politicians. The ruling class are entrenched to a level that is probably beyond repair..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. RE: “Meanwhile the rest of us are carrying its obligation via our taxes and the rising debt load.”

    What makes you think so?

    Frankly, “That’s not fair!” is a child’s plea. A grown-up would approach the question of Amazon’s taxes differently: Is there some particular regulation the company has abused or shouldn’t be able to exploit? If you can’t name it, or can’t be specific in some other way, then there’s nothing, really to discuss, because you haven’t done your homework.


  3. The article did give some details about losses carried forward, foreign profits (and foreign taxes), etc., which is fine if in accordance with the law. WSJ had more detail, but I couldn’t find it in Apple News access.

    My comment was not so much that Amazon was crooked, but rather that the tax laws are truly skewed in favor of wealth and power. Obama has a tax plan that reduced corporate taxes, a good idea. But it was essentially revenue neutral by eliminating many loopholes. So it never got past the Republican Congress. The current tax bill did none of that.

    A few years ago KPMG, a major, respected accounting firm, got caught selling tax evasion schemes to the rich. Not avoidance mind you, but evasion. Illegal. Some folks were prosecuted, paid some fines and there was some shuffling and firing. But a lot of money was made.

    My point for both of these examples is not so much the “how” but rather the consequences. Trust in a tax system is critical. No one likes to pay, but most of us realize it is a necessary part of governance. When such egregious examples of unfairness is pervasive, legal or illegal, then the trust erodes.

    Trump bragged about not paying taxes. It showed he was “smart”. Sadly, he had a point. He could afford to hire accountants, lawyers and whatever else it took to keep from paying rates that most of us had to pay.

    But all that does is confirm that our government is all about wealth and power and, again, trust erodes. Toss in a rising annual deficit and total debt, the average American starts to feel like a sucker.

    So it is not “child’s play” as you so dismissively put it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hired my first CPA when I sold my first business. Up to that point I had paid taxes in a fairly straight forward fashion with tax write-offs for justifiable expenses. After the sale, and with a chunk of disposable income I was introduced to the “game”.

      The “game” is learning how to walk the fine line between tax “avoidance” and tax “evasion”. The rules in the “game” strongly favor big money. Played well (legally) taxes can be avoided completely.

      The Golden Rule on full display: those that have the gold make the rules…

      The tax laws are rigged to favor the rich should be adjusted to be more equitable. IMHO.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “So it is not ‘child’s play’ as you so dismissively put it.”

      What I said is that crying “Not fair!” is a child’s plea. And it is.

      I commented on the post because I object to the practice of making moral/emotional arguments in matters of public policy.

      In this case there’s a strong economic argument to be made for not taxing businesses at all, but crying “Not fair!” pre-empts discussion of it. It’s the same a shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Irresponsible.


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