Senator Elizabeth Warren made the claim on social media this week that “giant corporations” like Amazon “exploit loopholes” and “pay close to nothing” in taxes.
Warren used this anecdote as justification for a new bill she is proposing to make companies “pay a fair share” of taxes.
Given Amazon has paid billions in tax revenue, this narrative they paid “close to nothing” clearly came as a surprise to the massive company. They decided to respond beneath Warren’s initial post.
“You make the tax laws @SenWarren, we just follow them” Amazon replied. “If you don’t like the laws you’ve created, by all means, change them.”
Amazon then went on to explain how much they actually in taxes, and unless you’re a trillionaire, it’s certainly not “close to nothing.”
“Here are the facts: Amazon has paid billions of dollars in corporate taxes over the past few years alone. In 2020, we had another $1.7B in federal tax expense and that’s on top of the $18 billion we generated in sales taxes for states and localities in the U.S. Congress designed tax laws to encourage investment in the economy,” they explained.
The company went on to say they’ve invested hundreds of billions in communities all around the country and have created nearly half a million jobs.
They did end with a jab at asking her to raise the federal minimum wage, which is a bizarre request for a company to make because if they want to pay their employees $15 at a minimum, they could do that currently without needing a law forcing them to do so.
Back in 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashed out at Amazon for wanting concessions in exchange for building a headquarters in Queens, potentially costing her own district tens of thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenue.
According to Time, AOC rebuked the tax revenue claims by using a similar argument Senator Warren employed.
However, Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter questioned the validity of the jobs figure and pointed to a report that Amazon will pay zero federal income tax in 2018, despite $11 billion in profits.
“$0 for schools. $0 for firefighters. $0 for infrastructure. $0 for research and healthcare,” she tweeted Thursday. “Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?”
While Amazon certainly has tax attorneys who maximize their revenue, it is obviously a stretch to say they “pay nothing” in taxes, as Amazon revealed they pay billions.