Why did I pay more in 2018 taxes than Amazon?

Amazon paid zero dollars in taxes for the second year in a row.

According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP, say whuut?), Amazon won’t be paying federal income taxes for the 2nd year in a row.

Why did I pay more in 2018 taxes than Amazon?

That’s right, Uncle Sam will get nothing from the e-commerce giant uh-gain — even though Amazon profited more than $11.2B in 2018.

For context, I paid over $900 more in taxes than Amazon did for 2018

Sure I (Wes Schlag) probably shouldn’t have hired the accountant running a $50 special, but that’s neither here nor there.

What business does one of the richest corporations in the world have paying less in taxes than a guy who’s never been profitable a day in his life?

You FICA be kidding me…

When President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, he said it would curb special-interest tax breaks. But it seems to have had the opposite effect, according to the nonpartisan tax institute.

Not only did the TCJA lower corporate tax responsibility to 21% (down from 35% in previous years), it also provided the same types of loopholes and arbitrary write-offs as other plans in years past.

According to ITEP’s director of federal tax policy, Steve Wamhoff, Amazon’s tax plan is notoriously vague. “It’s hard to know exactly” what breaks the company is taking advantage of, he told Yahoo Finance.

This is nothing new…

From 2008 to 2015, more than 100 profitable corporations paid zero or less in federal income taxes at least once, and AT&T, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, and IBM received a total of more than $130B in tax breaks.

Amazon’s not even the only company this year: Both General Motors and Netflix received a check from the government as well, despite the latter serving up record profits.

Things are lookin’ bleak

According to Wamhoff, as long as the TCJA sticks around, the corporate tax responsibility will continue to go down.

Unfortunately that means the world’s rising $22T debt will continue to rise (TCJA has contributed $1.9T to that) and, if 2019 is anything like 2018, that means so will mine.

New call-to-action

Get the 5-minute news brief keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop. Always free. 100% fresh. No bullsh*t.