Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed support for raising corporate tax rates on Tuesday, but did not say that he supports President Joe Biden’s tax plan.
Bezos said in a statement: “We support the Biden administration̵
Last week, Biden announced a package of more than 2 trillion U.S. dollars, which outlines a comprehensive upgrade of the country’s bridges, roads, public transportation and airports, and other transportation infrastructure. Among other goals, this includes the care of the elderly and the disabled, the construction and renovation of affordable housing, and the promotion of investment in manufacturing and employment training in the United States.
In order to fund the package, Biden proposed to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. As part of the 2017 tax law, President Donald Trump lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
Given that Amazon has previously reviewed its tax records (including Biden), Bezos’ support for tax increases is noteworthy. In May of last year, the then presidential candidate Biden told CNBC that Amazon “should start paying taxes.”
Biden once again singled out Amazon in a speech in Pittsburgh last week and criticized the company for using “various loopholes so that they don’t have to pay any single cent of federal income tax.”
In response, Amazon’s top spokesperson, Jay Carney, said in a tweet: “If the R&D tax credit is a “loophole”, it must be strongly intended by Congress. The R&D tax credit has been around since 1981. Existed and supported by 15 guerrillas, and was perpetuated by a law signed by President Obama in 2015.”
After paying $0 in U.S. federal income tax for two consecutive years, Amazon paid $162 million in federal income tax in 2019. The company has benefited from various tax credits and deductions, and its total revenue last year was $386 billion.
— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.