Warren on Amazon's $0 tax bill: Yes, it's legal, and that's the problem

Elizabeth Warren is making Amazon the poster child for her plan to raise $1 trillion in government revenue with a proposed 7 percent surtax on corporate profits above $100 million.

Singling out the company in a post on Medium, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential candidate chided the company for managing to avoid paying federal income taxes in 2018 despite profits of $11.2 billion.

Amazon responded to Warren’s post with a statement that said the company pays “all the taxes we are required to pay in the U.S. and every country where we operate,” and noting its American business investments as well as the 250,000 workers it employs here.

Warren was unimpressed. She responded with a tweet that acknowledged she wasn’t accusing Amazon of illegality; her point was precisely the fact that their legal tax liability was zero.

Warren, who has outpaced her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination in terms of substantive policy proposals, said in her Medium post that the U.S. tax code was in need of an overhaul so that companies like Amazon would pay federal taxes. 

RELATED: Take a look at the U.S. states with the highest income taxes: 

10 PHOTOS
10 states with the highest income tax
See Gallery
10 states with the highest income tax

10. Wisconsin

Personal income tax rate: 7.65%

9. New York

Personal income tax rate: 8.82%

8. Washington D.C. 

Personal income tax rate: 8.95%

7. Vermont

Personal income tax rate: 8.95%

6. New Jersey

Personal income tax rate: 8.97%

5. Iowa

Personal income tax rate: 8.98%

4. Minnesota

Personal income tax rate: 9.85%

3. Oregon

Personal income tax rate: 9.9%

2. Hawaii

Personal income tax rate: 11%

1. California

Personal income tax rate: 13.3%

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“There are two sets of rules for reporting a company’s profits. Companies follow established financial accounting rules to calculate the value of the profits they report to shareholders and the public,” Warren wrote in her post. “But they follow a different set of tax accounting rules to calculate the ‘profits’ they report to the IRS and pay corporate income taxes on. Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes.”

Her plan, Warren said, would mean “Amazon would pay $698 million in taxes instead of paying zero.”

In a crowded field of 17 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, Warren — who has made a point of not courting big-money donors — placed fifth in the amount of individual donations she received in the first quarter of 2019. In a Morning Consult poll of 2020 contenders, Warren also placed fifth, behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

_____

More from Yahoo News: 
Preet Bharara considered taping Trump because 'the man lies' 
Candidates edge toward discussing slavery reparations 
As immigration sweeps spread fear, activists and sheriffs unite to protect neighbors

Tax Aspects of Home Ownership: Selling a Home

Though most home-sale profit is now tax-free, there are still steps you can take to maximize the tax benefits of selling your home. Learn how to figure your gain, factoring in your basis, home improvements and more.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Estimated Taxes: How to Determine What to Pay and When

We'll make it easy for you to figure out if you have to pay estimated taxes and if so, how much.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

How to File Taxes with IRS Form 1099-MISC

If you receive tax form 1099-MISC for services you provide to a client as an independent contractor and the annual payments you receive total $400 or more, you'll need to file your taxes a little differently than a taxpayer who only receives regular employment income reported on a W-2.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

States with the Highest and Lowest Taxes

Where you live can help or hinder your ability to make ends meet. A myriad of taxes—property, license, state and local sales, property, inheritance, estate and excise taxes on gasoline—eat away at your disposable income. Weighing the tax landscape against your financial picture lets you stretch your dollars.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.