Amazon responds to inflation with surcharges
New York (CNN)Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos accused President Joe Biden of spreading “misdirection” on Twitter, after the president tweeted that wealthy corporations should be paying their fair share of taxes to bring down inflation.
“You want to bring down inflation? Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” Biden tweeted from his personal account Friday evening.
Bezos shot back later Friday with a tweet of his own claiming there is no link between inflation and corporate taxes.
“Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss. Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection,” Bezos tweeted.
Inflation has been rampant and affecting American consumers, though it slowed for the first time since August last month.
Bezos also said Biden’s tweet should be reviewed by the “Disinformation Board,” an initiative from the the Department of Homeland Security and the White House to help rein in disinformation, particularly on social media platforms.
Biden has criticized Bezos’ firm before. In May 2020, Biden said Amazon should “start paying their taxes” in an interview with CNBC.
“I don’t think any company, I don’t give a damn how big they are, the Lord Almighty, should absolutely be in a position where they pay no tax and make billions and billions and billions of dollars,” said Biden, who was then running for president.
Previously, in the 2017 and 2018 tax years, Amazon’s financial filings showed that it did not owe money in income tax, and rather expected to receive a tax refund from the federal government.
Amazon said it paid $1.7 billion in federal income tax for the 2020 tax year and paid $1.8 billion in other federal taxes. It also said it paid $2.6 billion in state and local taxes.
The e-commerce giant’s federal income tax bill was assessed at roughly one third of the 21% corporate tax rate.
And Bezos himself has been scrutinized for his personal tax bills in the past — ProPublica reported in 2020 the billionaire did not pay any federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011.
— CNN’s Chris Isidore and Brian Fung contributed to this report.
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