Jeff Bezos says he supports an increase in the corporate tax rate

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed support on Tuesday for the increase in the corporate tax rate, but did not say that he supports President Joe Biden’s plan for the increase.

“We support the Biden government’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure,” said Bezos in a statement. “We recognize that this investment will require concessions from all sides – both in the specifications of what is included and in the way it is paid (we support an increase in the corporate tax rate).”

Last week, Biden unveiled a package of more than $ 2 trillion that outlines major upgrades to the country’s bridges, roads, public transport and airports, among other transportation infrastructures. It also included investments in care for elderly and disabled Americans, construction and renovation of affordable housing, and advances in American manufacturing and professional training efforts, among other goals.

To finance the package, Biden proposed to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. The corporate tax rate has been reduced under President Donald Trump from 35% to 21% as part of a 2017 tax law.

Bezos’ support for a tax increase is notable, given that Amazon had already faced scrutiny over its tax record, including that of Biden. Last May, Biden, then a presidential candidate, told CNBC that Amazon “should start paying its taxes”.

Biden highlighted Amazon again last week during a speech in Pittsburgh, criticizing the company for using “multiple loopholes so they don’t pay a single cent in federal income tax”.

In response, Amazon’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said in a tweet: “If the R&D Tax Credit is a ‘loophole’, it is certainly an intention of Congress. The R&D Tax Credit has existed since 1981, it was extended 15 times with bipartisan support and became permanent in 2015 in a law signed by President Obama . “

After paying $ 0 in U.S. federal income tax for two years, Amazon paid $ 162 million in federal taxes in 2019. The company, which benefits from a variety of tax credits and deductions, recorded total revenue for the year $ 386 billion.

– Jacob Pramuk of CNBC contributed to this report.