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How Amazon Paid $0 Federal Income Tax in 2018

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Amazon paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2018. On top of that, the company also received a multi-million dollar tax rebate from the federal government. How does the company do it? President Trump's tax cuts, aggressive revenue reinvestment, years of R&D, and employee stock compensation all helped. Does America have a corporate income tax problem? Amazon is one of the world's most valuable companies, valued at nearly $800 billion, and the e-commerce giant pulled in $232.9 billion in global revenue in 2018. And yet, Amazon's federal tax bill this year: $0. For the second year in a row. In fact, Amazon is actually getting a federal tax refund of $129 million this year, due in part to a combination of tax credits and deductions. This is despite the fact that Amazon nearly doubled its taxable income in 2018 to $11.2 billion, from $5.6 billion a year earlier. In other words, Amazon is basically paying a -1 percent federal income tax rate this year after reportedly paying a federal rate of more than 11 percent between 2011 and 2016, according to The Week. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who has criticized Amazon in the past for not paying higher federal taxes, took to Twitter to point out that any Amazon Prime member paid more for that program's annual fee ($119) than the company paid in federal taxes. Prime has 100 million subscribers. "Amazon pays all the taxes we are required to pay in the U.S. and every country where we operate, including paying $2.6 billion in corporate tax and reporting $3.4 billion in tax expense over the last three years," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNBC Make It. Amazon reported its sizable federal refund in a recent corporate filing for the company's fourth-quarter earnings report. However, Amazon also notes in that filing that it will pay $756 million in total taxes this year, between state and international taxes. A report this week from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, or ITEP, a nonpartisan and nonprofit tax policy think tank, pointed out the fact that Amazon will not pay federal taxes for the second year in a row. In fact, last year, Amazon received an even larger refund, getting $137 million from the federal government. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #Amazon #Taxes How Amazon Paid $0 Federal Income Tax in 2018
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Text Comments (8317)
CNBC (9 months ago)
What do you think of the corporate tax rate in America? Should it be higher? Lower?
EKFIK INC (1 month ago)
It should be REMOVED and replaced by Andrew Yang's VAT and Freedom Dividend. #Yang2020
Luis Serrano (1 month ago)
People have to realize that you don't get rewarded to have a high paying job. You get rewarded for bringing business.
Ms Tawse (1 month ago)
The tax rate should be zero. The owners of the company pay taxes on the dividends or capital gains. Any other tax is just passed on to the people buying the companies products. What do you think of CNBC? Communist? or Idiots? Pleas reply
venture bullettrain321 (3 months ago)
Lower it is fine, just if were gonna have taxes as a way of raising money make corporations and the wealthy pay their freakin share
vcash holdfast (3 months ago)
How about a bigger tax brake for small business?
Justincasedee (8 hours ago)
Guys don’t watch it’s a waste I’ll sum it up for you He paid less than half of what he owed to IRS auditors
LaShay Chantelle (8 hours ago)
I love this man.
Mom's Ravioli (10 hours ago)
Corporations expect more and more from the workers, but give very little back.
Littlebit Lover (14 hours ago)
Bernie 2020
tedchi777 (14 hours ago)
The company that is ruining the economy of United states and probably ruining more.
DK x Mace (14 hours ago)
Lowering. Or pirate tax rate helps small business. We should probably not lighten up on tax for the bigger guys tho.
J. Montrice (20 hours ago)
Jeff Bezos is pure genius.
Paul (1 day ago)
Much of the corporate tax is used for support of the military that helps them overseas.
Andrea AM (1 day ago)
fbghetto5 (1 day ago)
Ah Corporations and their Corporate Welfare Tax cuts and billions of tax dollars of free money for innovation so they can continue to dodge their responsibility in paying their due taxes as we average Americans pay for all of it as far as I'm concerned Amazon should give us stuff for free since our hard earned money payed for Amazon
Nismo (1 day ago)
So Trumps administration is making the rich corporate sellouts even richer, and taking more money from the middle working class men and women? Not a fan, Trump, from Australia.
Alexander (1 day ago)
We need to Yang Gang our way to the way to the White House.
Greenstorm (1 day ago)
Can someone pls tell me why cnbc, being a private company, seeks to get people angry at private companies?
Greenstorm (1 day ago)
Good job new york. There goes your jobs and your economic boost to better your lives.
Artem Golubkov (1 day ago)
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Anthony (1 day ago)
Trust In The Universe (1 day ago)
Woz Mac (1 day ago)
Jalopnik said about a decade ago, America (USA) is socialist for the rich and capitalist for the working class and poor.
theklrdude oo (2 days ago)
if the government has no money , maybe they should do what everybody else does , ....live within your means . stop spending like a teenager with a new credit card !
Darian Ahmed Khamisani (2 days ago)
Jeff bozos
Nick Grossi (2 days ago)
taxation is theft
Dean (2 days ago)
Wow, what a load of crap and misinformation.
David Andrew (2 days ago)
If it is "Quite Normal" for Multi-national corporations to pay no taxes, and also get an additional "Rebate" based on deductions for stock bonuses given to executives, that is not a Normal that I'm content to let stand.
cj7 doll (2 days ago)
Close the loopholes so they can't escape paying taxes! Keep it at 5-10% for ALL corps! Use this tax to give every legal US citizen that is 18 (& lived in the US legally for 18years) a monthly freedom dividend.They ALMOST passed the UBI back in the 60s but didn't get enough votes from the corrupt politicians in the gov.
cj7 doll (2 days ago)
Not surprised. I've tried to tell everyone this for many years but no-one listened. Look to WHO WRITES THE TAXES, BUT THE RICH...
ruzzell907 (2 days ago)
Because Amazon gives value to the American economy. That's why.
just another human (2 days ago)
massive wealth redistribution on its way
Harshit Madan (2 days ago)
Taxation is theft.
Dhruva Shah (3 days ago)
Democrats want to increase tax on everything, and then wonder why so many people can't afford to live properly
Arakasi Acoma (4 days ago)
Socialists, Communists, Fascists, Capitalists. Screw them all! I declare myself King!
Veer Maharaj (4 days ago)
I usually grumble about this as a business owner, but in my country we pay something call greenfund levy, where regardless of your profits and losses, if you make a sale, you HAVE to pay a percentage of your total sales (regardless of profit) every month.
Anthony Sorprano (4 days ago)
At 10:16 he is reading a script like CNN fake school shooting theme! When u hear an active shooter it means just a drill! Why not just say shooter if second counts!
Anthony Sorprano (4 days ago)
They don't have to pay anything as long as amozon give federal government any mailing information that it needs to screw us American people, like back the buying cigarettes on line then federal government suppeon Cigarette company to give up customer info of u bought cigarette on line, then government tax all the cigarette buyer online, now I bet Amazon have to give up info to government with out going to court!
ImGonSay It Anyway (4 days ago)
lifes40123 (5 days ago)
trump is a capitalist and yang is a communist dont care about any of them
a donitel (5 days ago)
It only makes sense that the richer pay more taxes, that's why our current tax system makes no sense.
Al bay (5 days ago)
stop dreaming and don't think another president will change anything. stop using products and services from big corporations. i live without aamzon or starbucks, so can you.
Adam Smith (5 days ago)
The 20% tax is fine. The lower tax rate is needed to be competitive in the global economy. Just get rid of all the tax credits. And to compensate decrease regulation to make starting new businesses in the United States more friendly to increase competition. Make America a business friendly place where corporations pay a portion of their profit to corporations. The system in place protects large corporations with lobbyists and lawyers while small business pay a much larger portion in taxes. A decrease in competition decreases employee salaries, decreases tax revenues, increases corruption, and increases the likelihood of a corporate oligarchy.
Morten Kjell Reitan (6 days ago)
Raising the tax rate for companies is stupid. In Swiss we have very low cooperate tax. It's good.
Handy Cap (7 days ago)
Bozo is a big Dem. He should want to do his fair share and pay a lot of tax?!
Harvey Camper (7 days ago)
Are we remembering that all employees, executives, and Bezos personal salary pay BILLIONS in income taxes on their wages? The company has to pay tax when money is given to people.
Nux Nani (7 days ago)
The real problem isnt that we aren't collecting enough taxes it's that we have a bloated federal government that manages to lose trillions every year. It's a fact some branches of government can spend large sums of money without have to report what it was spent on.
Tusita Dewi (7 days ago)
Why do people think it’s a problem? The more successful the company is, the more benefits for employee who really, had nothing to risk in terms of their career. If you think it’s ‘unfair’, then support tax-cuts.
Fahimul Hasan (7 days ago)
Amazon is c-corporation and gov't tax them twice. One c-corporation pay tax and other shareholder pay tax....if amazon as a separate entity does not pay tax, shareholders pay tax on their earning. I don't see CNBC talk about CNBC tax-saving videos like amazon.
N Strat (7 days ago)
Sickening! This happens in Australia as well. Big business fat cats lining the pockets of dirty politicians. It really is disgusting. Just imagine that extra tax money going into education, healthcare etc etc
Shashwat Roy (7 days ago)
I'll pretend I understood all that
Derek Johansen or something (7 days ago)
Only Democrats would fight against $3B in tax incentives in order to gain $27.5B in return...
Veravit Chiamanusorn (7 days ago)
Amazon come to NY anyway
Chris Charrier (8 days ago)
Amazon is a publicly heled company. It's pays profits to it's shareholders... they pay taxes. It isn't their.fault you don't understand economics. This is the same news outlet that had "BREAKING NEWS" About Trump's tax returns....that he payed...all his taxes
James Champion (8 days ago)
By not paying taxes at some point, they'll destroy their own customer base. They will have to quit buy Amazon's products
blaaa (8 days ago)
we need to help our corporations and job creators compete in the global arena. If Mexicans can work for $2/hr so can Americans! USA, USA, USA!!!!
DannyDaDuffyDucking Daffer (9 days ago)
They spend money on themselves and spend money outside of the US oh yeah can't forget the typical run my money through an empty business
Google User 2000 (9 days ago)
Amazon subscribers must be so proud.
Randy H (9 days ago)
Do companies even need to be taxed? Amazon has 750,000 employees who pay taxes and anything it pays out to share holders will be taxed again. When you think about the government printing money they probably make a 10 to 1 return on the money they print in taxes. I get paid pay taxes, I buy something and pay taxes, you get my money and pay taxes, you buy something and pay taxes etc, etc, etc...
gorillashop (9 days ago)
Simon Heit (10 days ago)
Vote Andrew Yang in 2020. You'll get a human centered economy and universal basic income for all. Paid for by big tech. It just makes sense.
Nolans Account (10 days ago)
I don’t think they should be taxed more or less, they should be taxed EQUAL! Bill Gates and Warren Buffett think the same, what does the richest man in the world need this extra money for? I know these billionaires donate a lot, but come on. These guys worked hard for their money, but I work hard for my money and I make less in my lifetime than they make in a day. Pay the taxes, I hate it too but contribute to our society instead of just delivering goods at a fast rate.
encinobalboa (10 days ago)
CNBC blames Trump but does not mention that Amazon owner is also the owner of liberal newspaper WaPo. Misdirection accomplished.
Troy Patterson (10 days ago)
Worth over 100 billion dollars and his company pays no federal income tax. #CRACKERASSAMERICA
Meyaka Brown (10 days ago)
Amazing uses our roads more than any company but they wont pay taxes that will go to our infrastructure? This is why I hate big companies and rich people. I have 0 respect for this POS that thinks he owns the world.
Snub PistoL (10 days ago)
Marissa Gerena (11 days ago)
If the person is citizen of any country her name or his name no bonds to pay the Levi of persons can save money under its name
Marissa Gerena (11 days ago)
I prefer no tax but still can make profits 0 percent in Germany now why we can compete trades good can make profits .to united States of America .
Andy Wu (11 days ago)
The only way they paid $0 in tax os if the ratio to earnings and expenses equal out. Which i doubt it because Jeff Bazos is a billionaire. The irs will knock on their doorstep.
Vito 757 Ghost (11 days ago)
700,000$ in tax a year for our corporation (3 resteraunts in prime area... ) and he get 0$ tax ? We are being robbed blindly
Mig 28 (5 days ago)
Perhaps you should stick just racing cops, ey? 😂 JK
Mig 28 (5 days ago)
I'm skeptical of your 3 resteraunts.
Johnny Seagle (11 days ago)
Andrew Yang 2020. This is the answer.
Chanel Camacho (11 days ago)
Andrew yang will help make this fair for the American people. Who doesn’t want a data check in the mail. #YangGang #HumanityFirst
Paul _ (11 days ago)
Garner needs to stop being a pawn of Russia. All companies are GOING TO MAKE DO THINGS ANYWAY. DUH. Supreme Court already put this one to bed. EVERY AMERICAN has a right to MANAGE THEIR MONEY SO THEY PAY the LEAST AMOUNT OF TAXES THEY CAN PAY. --- AND THAT MAKES CAPITALIST more wealthy and Gardner a socialist fascist communist hates it when America wont go commie. take a hike chump. Capitalism makes the world a MUCH BETTER PLACE. Socialism makes it slavery.
Paul _ (11 days ago)
Hundreds of thousands of people working for them PAID INCOME TAXES. INCOME TAXES are evil and the second plank of the communist manifesto. They paid taxes ALL ALONG THE WAY. --- Paying Taxes are SLAVERY, NOT A VIRTUE. When you invest in yourself you pay no tax on the investment until you pull the money out. I legally pay no tax either. USING EXACTLY THE SAME METHOD. If you rebuild and sell 2 houses then put all the profits into a third house and keep that house as a rental YOU PAY NO INCOME TAX, Its called SELF FUNDNG instead of complaining JUST DO IT YOURSELF.
Ron Helton (11 days ago)
Taxation is Theft. Companies operate at a profit. They pass all of their costs on to the consumer and that includes taxes.
Trey Munden (11 days ago)
If any company spends its yearly profit reinvesting back into the company, or researching green energy, or paying stock to its employees... there’s literally no money left to tax. Why are you mad about this? Lol.
Lee Schloss (11 days ago)
Tax shouldn't be based on how much you make. Should be based on how much government you consume. Want more government? Great, you pay for it.
Troyous Ricciardi (11 days ago)
Yang's UBI easily funded by AUTOMATION TAX!!! Humanity will not allow these companies to starve the entire world. I mean, starve the entire world mo r e .
jodyshuaige (11 days ago)
that's not fair, there is bribery and corrupt official
Yeshua is Lord. (9 days ago)
Of course.
Gary K (11 days ago)
Value Added Tax for Freedom Dividend! Yang 2020!
David Wangbichler (12 days ago)
Yet the worker has an Alternative Minimum Tax. Businesses should have an AMT.
Jakedegaye (12 days ago)
Ppl are born with Free Will,if you don’t like Amazon’s business model,don’t buy the product,item from Amazon,just buy the same product from the original Manufacturer or smaller retailer that has a less aggressive Business Model.. The original manufacturer and smaller retailer would appreciate it.
MVP11489 (12 days ago)
So let me get this straight, people were mad that New York was giving. 3 billion dollar tax break, but it would have gained them 27 billion in overall taxes? Am I understanding this right? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm genuinely curious
R V (12 days ago)
Was paying flat fee annually for prime and they switched it to monthly without telling me...
better.øff'd (12 days ago)
So, reinvest profits and claim a loss?
Megan Jones (12 days ago)
pi is brand new and free to download app and start it once a day.the app does not have to stay open.only open once a day start miner then close app.invitation code is saltfish68
Megan Jones (12 days ago)
pi is brand new and free to download app and start it once a day.the app does not have to stay open.only open once a day start miner then close app.invitation code is saltfish68
Megan Jones (12 days ago)
pi is brand new and free to download app and start it once a day.the app does not have to stay open.only open once a day start miner then close app.invitation code is saltfish68
lairdriver (13 days ago)
You can thank Donald Trump for this
lairdriver (13 days ago)
Amazon is destroying the American retail sector for free.
BAGS_OF_BISCUITS (13 days ago)
They pay no taxes, disrupt the social and economical infrastructure and who is left to pick up the pieces when communities fall apart? Evil ass people..... and you know what people I speak of.
wicked puma 63 (13 days ago)
Vote yang #yanggang2020
Chris L. (13 days ago)
Jeff bezoz sold us out to the cetinals and now he’s living a version of the matrix where he is the richest man
Billy Jack (13 days ago)
Most Americans are just plain ignorant and don't care about Amazon not paying taxes.
Tarbasch (10 days ago)
Most americans are also ignorant as to how many people Amazon employees because they get tax breaks.
Mike Jones (13 days ago)
So I work two jobs and get 33% taken out of my pay, then I have to pay 12% sales tax, so I only get to keep 45% of MY money and the government gets the rest WTF!!! AND I got a tax bill of $5,000 that took me 4 years to payback AND they took everyone of my tax returns during those four years.....something doesn't seem fair.
Xattr (12 days ago)
welcome to capitalism. o7
John Dilinger (13 days ago)
so hold on, amazon got 3bil in tax cuts, and wanted to open new hq to influx 27,5 bil of tax revenue in the same period, and these newyorkers protested that? am i missing something?
Galen Hanes (13 days ago)
Taxes are passed on to consumes or shareholders. Amazon doesn't print money.
GRBTutorials (11 days ago)
And if they did, that would only cause inflation.
Medusa Skull (14 days ago)
Is there data showing the net job creation by Amazon? They destroyed million of retail jobs and created a bunch of assembly line jobs that will then get replaced by robots. Also, beside getting your shopping done without going to drive to the malls, you are saying gas money and reducing pollution. But, is there data showing the net impact of Amazon delivery trucks on environment and the impact on consumer health from not walking around the mall? Well, don't forget to also take into consideration junk food consumption for going to the malls.
Sergey A. (14 days ago)
Stereo types don't understand how big companies help the productivity & sustainability in world economy! Typically AMERICAN MEDIA makes conflictions.
GASPARE E GRIMALDI (14 days ago)
“ there reinvesting there money back into company’s business “ putting people to work “ legal “ smart “ anybody can do that “ “ Can you say Capitalism “
Reggie E (12 days ago)
They're, their, there.
Quentin Keener (14 days ago)
Trump said in the beginning of his campaign he will show us how to get over on taxes I want to know how... . trump... how this is clearly what he means be real 0 in taxes at least charge them God damn shipping fee 🙄
cnccarving (14 days ago)
anyone ever worked by themselves, they know investment reducing your income even turn into minus you take off expenses before you pay any tax
cnccarving (14 days ago)
what benefit cnbc created? most likely none bezos keeping millions on job if you dont like then dont take it, work for cnbc
Lo 209 (14 days ago)
Safly this is all within the law! Even when taxes where way higher they managed to pay 0 in INCOME TAX..... since they still pay other taxes. The reason they are really able to to do so is because they have tax specialist and tax law attorneys that have time to read the billion page tax code, and they apply for rebates and exemptions that are completely legal! As for small business the truth is they are stuck with CPA’s and doing taxes themselves. So its legal, and they do pay taxes because by law there are alot of taxes other than income tax.... and they help employees pay tuition for their school, and pay higher wages than other companies just as large, and offer training programs for trucking a delivery startups! Not fair and fair at the same time! A difficult topic for sure.