WASHINGTON D.C.: U.S. President Joe Biden has criticized online retailer Amazon.com for not paying federal taxes.
Speaking in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week, Biden explained the need to increase corporate taxes to pay for his proposed $2.3 trillion jobs and infrastructure program.
In the Biden infrastructure plan, corporate tax rates would rise to 28 percent from the current 21 percent. Also, loopholes that allow companies to move profits overseas would be eliminated, according to the White House.
Biden further said that Amazon was among 91 Fortune 500 companies that "use various loopholes where they pay not a single solitary penny in federal income tax." He compared that with middle class families paying over 20 percent tax rates.
"I don't want to punish them, but that's just wrong," he said.
Commenting on Biden's criticism, an Amazon spokeswoman pointed to research performed by Jay Carney, the company's public policy and communications chief and former White House press secretary under former President Barack Obama.
"If the R&D Tax Credit is a 'loophole,' it's certainly one Congress strongly intended. The R&D Tax credit has existed since 1981, was extended 15 times with bi-partisan support, and was made permanent in 2015 in a law signed by President Obama," Carney tweeted.
It was also noted that while Amazon paid no federal taxes for two years, they began paying again in 2019.