United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently released a new staff report, “The Big Escape: How the Ultra-Wealthy Avoid Paying Taxes and How to Fix It.”
Massive corporations and America’s wealthiest households are using extraordinary loopholes and increasingly complex schemes to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.
These measures–which Warren is calling to be passed as part of the reconciliation package–would reverse widening wealth inequality in America and raise $3.7 trillion from the wealthiest households and companies for investments in American families.
Our current tax system does little to tax America’s wealthiest individuals. Income taxes target income, and standard income is not how the richest of the rich build their fortunes.
For example, Jeff Bezos earned $81,840 in salary in 2020, a barely noticeable figure when compared to his $179 billion in wealth. That’s exactly why the Ultra-Millionaire Tax targets wealth.
“Applying Senator Warren’s wealth tax to five of America’s richest individuals alone would have raised over $9 billion dollars in 2020,” said progressive Democrat Lisa McCormick.
“Thirty-nine companies paid no federal income tax from 2018-2020, yet reported a combined $122 billion in profits to their shareholders,” said McCormick, who noted that those businesses are among the S&P 500 or Fortune 500, lists that include America’s top corporate empires.
The report asserts the some of the richest companies in the United States pay little to nothing in federal income taxes for years at a time.
Under the Real Corporate Profits Tax, these companies alone would have paid $7.37 billion in this three year period.
Even when top profitable corporations pay some federal taxes, their rates often fall well below the 21% statutory corporate tax rate.
The report shows how 15 of the richest companies, including Amazon, General Motors, Nike, Netflix, Bank of America, and others, should be paying their fair share.
“Far too often, billionaires and giant corporations pay next to nothing in taxes, but Congress now has the historic opportunity to build a fairer and better system,” said Warren.
“An Ultra-Millionaire Tax and a Real Corporate Profits Tax would cut through loopholes and tax-avoidance schemes to ensure that the richest Americans pay their fair share while raising trillions in revenue for sorely needed investments in our infrastructure and economy,” said Warren. “This is how we build a government and a future that works for all Americans.”