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Jeff Bezos Lends Support To Biden's Corporate Tax Rate Hike, Infrastructure Plan

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos on Monday came out in support of a rise in corporate tax rate and President Joe Biden’s “bold investments” in American infrastructure, amidst criticism over paying little or no federal taxes in the past.

What Happened: A tweet from Amazon’s public policy account citing Bezos offered support but also sought more details and a balanced solution from the Biden administration on the proposal to raise U.S. corporate tax. 

Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan aims to make a series of investments in bridges, roads, mass transit, and water infrastructure along with a hike in corporate tax to 28% from 21%.

Amazon in the recent past has come under scrutiny over its workplace policies, including some criticism over tax payments

“We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides—both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for,” Bezos wrote in the note. 

Why It Matters: Amazon, which reported a revenue of nearly $386 billion last year, benefits from a variety of tax credits and deductions. The e-commerce giant paid $0 in U.S. federal income tax, two years in a row in 2018 and 2018. In 2019, it paid $162 million in federal income taxes.

Bezos, who is retiring from his role as Amazon CEO this year, also found support from Salesforce.com Inc’s (NYSE: CRM) Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff, who backed the hike in tax rate but welcomed conversations on what the tax rates should be.

“I am in favor of looking at it with a beginner’s mind and saying let’s look at the tax rates and find the correct number. Let’s do it together in the framework of global competitiveness,” Benioff said at a World Economic Forum event on Tuesday.

In 2017, the U.S. corporate tax rate was lowered to 21% from 35% led by former President Donald Trump. 

If implemented, the new tax rate would come into effect over several years and raise minimum taxes on the foreign income of U.S. companies.

President Biden had in February met with chief executive officers from JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) and Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) among other companies to discuss the stimulus plan and the American economy. 

Price Action: Shares of Amazon.com closed 0.09% lower at $3223.82 on Tuesday and those of Salesforce closed 0.36% up at $221.09. 

© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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