Those wondering how many zeros Amazon, which is valued at nearly $800 billion, has to pay in federal taxes might be surprised to learn that its check to the IRS will read exactly $0.00.
According to a report published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic (ITEP) policy Wednesday, the e-tail/retail/tech/entertainment/everything giant won’t have to pay a cent in federal taxes for the second year in a row.
This tax-free break comes even though Amazon almost doubled its U.S. profits from $5.6 billion to $11.2 billion between 2017 and 2018.
To top it off, Amazon actually reported a $129 million 2018 federal income tax rebate—making its tax rate -1%.
Amazon’s low (to non-existent) tax rate has been chided by politicians ranging from Senator Bernie Sanders to President Donald Trump.
You know what Amazon paid in federal income taxes last year?
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 30, 2018
I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
But even though Trump previously blasted Amazon for its limited state taxes—a single presidential tweet caused the company’s shares to fall by 9%—ITEP notes that its non-existent federal tax payment is a result of the Trump Administration’s corporation-friendly tax cuts. The think tank writes that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act not only decreased corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, but it also didn’t close “a slew of tax loopholes that allow profitable companies to routinely avoid paying federal and state income taxes on almost half of their profits.”
According to The Week, Amazon ended up paying an 11.4% federal income tax rate between 2011 and 2016, which is a contrast to the -1% rate this year.
Amazon has a history of avoiding various sales taxes and made headlines last summer after successfully convincing Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to repeal a tax that would have helped the city’s homeless population.
Furthermore, New Yorkers made waves after learning about the significant tax cuts Amazon would receive if it built a headquarters in Long Island City.
Amazon won't build an HQ in New York City.
It would have been getting tax breaks in Long Island City that were meant for the poor. https://t.co/j5NvFSUMpT? pic.twitter.com/UrAYajvw36
— Bloomberg Graphics (@BBGVisualData) February 14, 2019
As a result of public and political contention, Amazon canceled its plans to expand to New York Thursday.