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Guess What Amazon Paid in Taxes Last Year

If you guessed $0, you're close. It's less than $0.
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2019 5:30 PM CST
In this Sept. 13, 2018, file photo, Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, speaks at The Economic Club of Washington's Milestone Celebration in Washington.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
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(Newser) – Amazon, pay federal taxes? Hope Uncle Sam isn't holding his breath. The retailing giant paid zero dollars to the feds in 2017 and 2018 despite profits totaling nearly $17 billion, the Guardian reports. Seems Amazon relied on tax credits and tax breaks for executive stock options to turn its 21% rate—down from 35% under President Trump's new tax plan—into a $128 million federal rebate. "This is not their first rodeo," says a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which issued a report on Amazon's tax payments. "More than any company I have ever seen they have built their company around tax avoidance."

Trump has criticized Amazon for paying too little in taxes, per Yahoo Finance, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among Democrats in full agreement. "$0 for schools. $0 for firefighters. $0 for infrastructure. $0 for research and healthcare," she tweets. But Marketwatch breaks down Amazon's tax strategy, noting it earned credits during bad years and uses strategies "baked in the tax code" that all public companies enjoy. Amazon also paid nearly $1.2 billion in local, state, and international taxes for 2018. Amazon's thoughts on all this? The company says in part that it "pays all the taxes we are required to pay in the US and every country where we operate." (Another huge company shocked a city with its plan to develop and tax 350 acres of land.)

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