- Sen. Elizabeth Warren's office released a report on Thursday on Democrats' proposed corporate tax.
- The report found that major firms like Facebook and Amazon would have owed millions more.
- While Democrats have backed down on many tax hikes, this one has sign-off from key centrist Kyrsten Sinema.
Democrats are gearing up to make corporations pay up in their social spending package — and the resulting taxes could bring in millions from some of the country's biggest corporations.
On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's office released a report looking at the impact of the proposed Corporate Profits Minimum Tax, which she spearheaded along with Sens. Angus King and Ron Wyden. Under that tax, companies reporting over $1 billion in profit would be subject to a 15% tax. Warren's office looked at how the tax stacks up with what companies paid in 2020, and found some gaping differences.
For instance, per Warren's report — which used data from the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy — some of the biggest names in business would have owed millions more. Amazon would have owed $3.6 billion, rather than the $2.8 billion in paid on $24.2 billion in profits. That's a gap of $836 million between the new tax and what Amazon paid in 2020.
"Billionaire corporations have gotten a free ride in America for too long," Warren said in a statement on the report. "It's time to stop letting giant corporations cheat the system — they should pay taxes just like everyone else."
It's not the first time that Warren has criticized Amazon — and its founder — on taxes. When former CEO and founder Jeff Bezos launched himself into space, he said he wanted to thank "every Amazon employee" and customer, because "you guys paid for all of us."
Warren fired back, writing in a Tweet: "Jeff Bezos forgot to thank all the hardworking Americans who actually paid taxes to keep this country running while he and Amazon paid nothing." As Insider's Lynnley Browning reported, Amazon ultimately paid no income taxes in 2017 and 2018. Bezos retired as Amazon CEO on July 5, 2021.
Other big companies that would owe more include Facebook, the creation now known as Meta. It would have paid up to $469 million more. Amazon and Facebook did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The corporate minimum tax is one of the only tax increases Democrats have been able to coalesce around to pay for their social-spending package. Importantly, it has the sign-off of key centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Sinema previously sunk proposals to bring up the corporate income tax rate from 21%, and to raise the top tax rate for individuals. Warren's plan is meant to help stop large firms from using legal loopholes to reduce their tax burdens.
The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says the measure would raise nearly $319 billion over 10 years.
"My report makes it clear that it's time for corporations to stop cheating the system & start paying taxes like everyone else," Warren tweeted. "I'm going to keep fighting for a Corporate Profits Minimum Tax to raise over $300 billion so we can invest in child care, housing, clean energy & more."