Andrew Yang claimed that Amazon pays “literally zero in taxes.” “Oh, so, it’s difficult to do if you have companies like Amazon, trillion-dollar tech companies paying literally zero in taxes while they’re closing 30% of our stores.”
Facts First: When it comes to taxes the picture is more complicated than Yang claims. Amazon pays state taxes and has also paid federal taxes in the past.
The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Amazon’s overall tax rate from 2012 through 2018 was 8%.
“From 2012 through 2018, Amazon reported $25.4 billion in pretax US income and current federal tax provisions totaling $1.9 billion,” the Journal reported.
“That is an 8% tax rate — low, but not zero or negative. Looking back further, since 2002, Amazon has earned $27.7 billion in global pretax profits and paid $3.6 billion in global cash income taxes, a 13% tax rate.”
Amazon’s SEC filings in 2017 showed it did not expect to owe any federal tax, and in fact expected to get a $137 million refund from the federal government.
It did, however, say it expected to pay $211 million to states.
More recently, in February, an analysis of Amazon corporate filings by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the company got a rebate of $129 million for tax year 2018.
Analysts say Amazon was able to whittle down its tax liability by taking advantage of tax credits and deductions.