The Real Deal New York

Going postal: Trump attacks Amazon over shipping costs, tax breaks

"Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!" POTUS tweeted Saturday morning.
March 31, 2018 10:09AM

President Donald Trump. (Credit from left: Ron Reiring, Michael Vadon, Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump is taking on the Amazonian task (again) of trying to get Jeff Bezos’ retail giant to pay taxes and “real” shipping costs via Twitter.

Amazon’s 2013 deal with the U.S. Postal Service for deliveries seven-days a week makes the mail service money and saved it from cutting 100,000 staff, which had been the plan as of 2011 prior to the deal being negotiated, according to Bloomberg. Trump’s says Amazon receives a subsidized cost per package, which has a long history, is to blame for the service’s losses; Bloomberg attributes the losses to health care coverage for staff.

The issue of Amazon’s taxes, however, is of a different ilk. Last year, the company paid nothing in federal taxes due to “various tax credits and tax breaks for executive stock options,” despite logging $5.6 billion in profits, according to The New Republic.

In the past five years, TRN reports Amazon paid a corporate tax rate of 11 percent and with Trump’s new tax bill coming into effect, the company projects it will be able to rack up nearly $790 million more in benefits, which is how the company was been able to pay zero dollars to the taxman in 2017. Earlier this month, Amazon’s market value hit $768 billion.

“More so than any company I can think of,” Matthew Gardner of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy told TNR. “Amazon appears to have built their profit maximization strategy around avoiding taxes at various levels.”

Amazon’s request for tax breaks as part of its ongoing HQ2 search prompted most cities to offer massive benefit packages in attempt to lure the company to their city. [TNR]Erin Hudson