Matthew Gardner, senior fellow for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), who analyzes corporations and their tax avoidance, says there’s “no meaningful” connection between Amazon and many of the taxes it listed in its announcement.
Instead, the company lists taxes it collects on behalf of the U.S. government, like payroll taxes and sales taxes from third-party vendors. In a post for ITEP, Gardner noted that “economists agree that payroll taxes are ultimately paid by employees in the form of reduced compensation. Like the sales tax, the payroll tax is one that the company really just collects and sends to the government, as required by law.”
“Congratulating an employer for collecting the payroll tax is like congratulating yourself for breathing,” ITEP continued.
“Amazon for a long time has fought tooth and nail against collecting sales tax,” Gardner said. “That was its comparative advantage to the smaller companies they drove out of business. That they’re patting themselves on the back for the first time finally in decades is really a cosmic joke.”
“Amazon’s leadership should be far more ashamed of their prior behavior on the sales tax front than they should be proud of their current behavior,” he continued. Read more