"A small number of corporate CEOs and wealthy investors have profited in the midst of this pandemic..." says a new report from Oxfam America. Like other corporate giants, Amazon has reduced its tax bill by "taking advantage of loopholes in the U.S. tax code that allow the company to treat rewarding rich executives with stock options as a tax write-off; carrying forward operating losses from years earlier; and parking profits in tax havens," Oxfam explained.
Despite raking in a record $20 billion in domestic profits amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon's federal tax rate was just 9% in 2020, which is significantly lower than the 22% tax rate paid by the average U.S. worker.
According to Oxfam's calculations, taxing Amazon at the current U.S. corporate rate of 21% would raise an additional $2.5 billion per year, which is enough to provide Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 1.7 million Americans facing hunger.
In addition, a 3% wealth tax on Bezos' $198 billion fortune would yield $6 billion in revenue—enough to provide child care to the 440,000 kids under the age of four in Amazon's home state of Washington.
Finally, a pandemic profits tax on Amazon would generate an additional $11 billion. That's enough to pay for 580 million coronavirus vaccines at the current average cost of $19 per dose, although "prices can and should be far lower than this to make vaccinating the world possible," Oxfam noted.
It is a pity that Oxfam cannot go any further in its remedies than to recommend higher taxation on the capitalist class.