SDGs Academy
2019-07-31

How Amazon Paid $0 Federal Income Tax in 2018


How Amazon Paid $0 Federal Income Tax in 2018

How Amazon Paid $0 Federal Income Tax in 2018


Amazon is a very sophisticated tax player.
亞馬遜都用複雜的手法來玩弄稅務。

Amazon is very much the canary in the coalmine.
亞馬遜公司是一個不祥的象徵。

They're really doing what a lot of politicians wish more companies would do.
他們真的做了政客們希望更多公司效仿的事情。

Amazon is a huge company, but do you know just how huge it really is.
亞馬遜是一家大公司,但你知道它到底有多大嗎?

You start with amazing Amazon somewhere CEO Jeff Bezos is smiling.
"我們從Amazon的CEO說起, 不知道正在那裡笑著的Jeff Bezos"。

It's one of only two US companies to ever reach a trillion dollar valuation.
它是僅有兩家達到萬億美元估值的美國公司的其中之一。

No one in history has become as rich as quickly.
從沒有人能致富的如此迅速。

It's made Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world.
這讓Jeff Bezos成為世界上最富有的人。

That is 100 million Prime subscribers globally.
"全球擁有一億個進階用戶"。

And if you put those prime subscribers in one country, it would be the 14th largest on the planet.
如果你把這些進階用戶放在一個國家,它將是這個地球上第14大人口的國家。

The planet. 
整個地球上。

But that massive company paid no federal income tax on more than 11 billion in profits in 2018.
但是這家大公司在2018年的利潤超過110億美元時不需要繳納一毛聯邦所得稅。

And somehow they actually got a one $129 million dollar tax rebate.
而且不知為何,他們獲得了1.29億美元的退稅。

So how do they do it?
他們是怎麼做到的?

CNBC Explores - Amazon’s low federal income tax bill
CNBC探索 - 亞馬遜的低廉聯邦所得稅


The tax cuts and Jobs Act is passed.
"減稅和就業法案獲得通過。"

First, there's the tax bill.
首先,來談稅務。

President Trump's signature tax legislation lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.
川普總統簽署的稅收立法將公司營業稅從35%降至21%。

Corporations are literally going wild over this.
全部公司因此而欣喜若狂。

That immediately slashed Amazon's potential tax burden.
這立即減輕了亞馬遜的潛在稅務負擔。

Then there's Amazon savvy use of revenue.
然後亞馬遜精明地使用收入。

Amazon plows large portions of revenue back into itself to cultivate long term growth.
亞馬遜將大部分收入重新投入到自身企業中,以促進長期利益增長。

Amazon has actually been selfs funding for several years now. 
亞馬遜幾年來實際上一直在做自我投資的動作。

The company generate significant free cash flow.
這家公司創造出非常巨大的資金潮。

One of things I like Amazon is it’s a company that doesn’t really kind of rest on their laurels and is constantly trying to innovate, constantly trying to heed the needs of the customers.
我喜歡亞馬遜的就是,這家公司並不是真正滿足於自己的成就,而是不斷努力創新,不斷努力滿足客戶的需求。

This started early on with Bezos using the strategy to get big fast helping Amazon eclipse its once arch rival, Barnes and Noble.
這開始於早期,Bezos利用這一策略快速幫助亞馬遜超越其曾經的主要競爭對手巴恩斯和諾布爾。

Since then, it's helped Amazon gobble up countless other retail markets as well, embark on lucrative ventures like Amazon Web Services, and even become a Hollywood studio with shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Jack Ryan.”
從那時起,這個策略幫助亞馬遜吞噬了無數其他零售市場,開始了像亞馬遜網絡服務這樣的利潤豐厚的企業,甚至成立一個好萊塢工作室,其中包括“The Mavelel Mrs. Maisel”和“Jack Ryan”等節目。

Amazon has invested so much revenue in itself over the years that sometimes it didn't even make a profit.
亞馬遜多年來一直在持續將他們的收入拿來投資自己,有時它甚至沒有盈利。

8 years of losses since 1997 Amazon IPO

And when that happened it could carry forward losses to write-off on future tax bills.
當發生這種情況時,它可以用未來可能虧損的名義來註銷之後的稅單。

In 2018, those carry forward losses eligible for federal write-off amounted to $627 million dollars.
在2018年時,這種未來可能帶來的虧損註銷了他們6.27億美元的稅。

Then there's massive federal tax credits, which the company reports are primarily related to research and development from its AI assisted logistics network to it's sweet of consumer electronics products, Amazon has poured tens of billions of dollars into research and development over the years.
然後是大量的聯邦稅收抵免退稅,該公司主要是以研發人工智慧輔助的物流網路和廣為人知的個人電子產品的名義;亞馬遜多年來在研究和開發方面投入了數百億美元。

But that's not the only tax credit Amazon qualifies for.
但這不是唯一一個Amazon可以拿來做稅收抵免的項目。

The big one last year was the expensing that is allowed for investments in plants and equipment and buildings and things of that sort.
去年最大宗的的是他們投資工廠,設備和建築物之類事物的抵免額。

Trump's tax cuts and Jobs Act supercharged this credit, a perk that Amazon has cashed in on.
川普的減稅和就業法案讓這方面的抵免額急速上升,讓這個抵免額成為亞馬遜的現金提款機

The idea behind the expanded credit?
為何會有這種抵免額的提升?

James Pethokoukis(Economic Policy Analyst American Enterprise Institute)
Is the big problem for U.S. economy is that it has not been as productive recently as in the past.
對美國經濟來說,最大的問題是它最近沒有像過去那樣有效率。

And so one solution which would help sort of companies everywhere is if they invested more in machinery and training to make their workers more productive.
因此有了一個解決方案,如果在機械和培訓方面投入更多資金,以提高員工的工作效率,會幫助到不少的公司和企業。

But not everybody buys into this reasoning.
但不是所有人都同意這個理由。

The tax breaks Amazon is getting,  they're being rewarded for what they were gonna do anyway.
亞馬遜正在用各種理由減稅,反正不管他們怎麼做都會幫助他們自己得利。

Matthew Gardner(Senior Fellow, Institute on Taxtation and Economic Policy)
Because when you're a company as successful as profitable, as cash-rich, as Amazon is, you make investments have the money to do them and when you see the need for those investments.
因為當你是一家成功盈利的公司,像亞馬遜那樣現金充裕,你會有資金去投資,且會拿來投資對你是有必要性好處的投資。

In 2018, Amazon had about 1.4 billion dollars in total available tax credits.
在2018年,亞馬遜的可用稅收抵免總額約為14億美元。

Finally, there's the company's use of stock based employee compensation.
最後,該公司使用股票來薪酬員工的制度。

Basically this allows Amazon to pay employees using stock, and then take the value of that stock off their tax bill.
基本上,這允許亞馬遜使用股票向員工付款,然後從他們的稅單中扣除該股票的價值。

Steven M.Rosenthal(Senior Fellow Tax Policy Center)
Amazon rewards its employees, especially its executives, with stock based compensation, and Amazon stock has been rising fairly substantial for many years.
亞馬遜通過基於股票的薪酬獎勵其員工,特別是其高層管理人士;亞馬遜股票多年來一直在大幅上漲。

And so the size of that stock based compensation is now very large and affords Amazon a large write-off.
因此,基於股票的薪酬的價值不斷提高,為亞馬遜提供了大量的註銷。

Some say the federal government ends up making just as much in the long run from stock based compensation because the stock is taxed when it's sold.
有人說,從長遠來看,聯邦政府最終會從股票補償中獲得同樣多的收益,因為股票在賣出時會被徵稅。

But others have concerns because of the major difference between the value of the stock when it's offered to employees versus the value when it's written off.
但是其他人擔心的是,當股票提供給員工時的價值與其註銷時的價值之間有巨大的差異。

They give executives the right to purchase a certain number of shares of stock at a set price.
他們讓高層管理人士以固定價格購買一定數量的股票。

The price of the stock goes way up.
所以股價因此上漲。

Matthew Gardner(Senior Fellow, Institute on Taxtation and Economic Policy)
The company is then allowed to write off the value of that stock and suddenly the tax breaks can be huge.
股票價格上漲,公司隨後以上漲後的股票價值註銷該股票的價值,這突然之間可以增加非常巨大的抵免額度。

$1.1 billion - 2018 stock-base compemsation
(11億美元 -  2018年股票薪酬)

Amazon deducted about 1.1 billion dollars from its tax liability using this method in 2018.
亞馬遜在2018年使用這種方法從其納稅義務中扣除了約11億美元。

So that's how Amazon secures such a small federal income tax bill.
這就是亞馬遜為何可以持續繳納如此低廉的稅額。

But before we get ahead of ourselves, we should probably remember that Amazon does pay certain taxes like state taxes, local taxes, other federal taxes and international taxes.
但在我們太好高騖遠之前,我們應該記得,亞馬遜也必須支付其他稅,如州稅,地方稅,其他聯邦稅和國際稅。

In a statement to CNBC, an Amazon spokesperson said, “Amazon pays all the taxes we are required to pay in the U.S. and every country where we operate, including paying $2.6 billion in corporate tax and reporting $3.4 billion in tax expense over the last three years…”
亞馬遜發言人在給CNBC的一份聲明中說,“亞馬遜支付了我們在美國和我們經營所在國家需要支付的所有稅款,包括支付26億美元的公司稅,並申報了過去三年中34億美元的稅收費用。”

The company also touted its investments and job creation in the U.S.
該公司還在吹捧其在美國創造的投資和就業機會。

But according to data compiled by the Institute on taxation and economic policy, Amazon had an effective federal tax rate of just 3 percent over 10 years.
但根據稅務和經濟政策研究所編制的數據,亞馬遜在10年內的有效聯邦稅率僅為3%。

That's far below the ones 35 percent corporate income tax rate in the United States and even the new 21 percent rate now.
這遠遠低於美國的企業所得稅稅率35%,甚至依然低於現在的新稅率21%。

And Amazon's story is not exactly unique.
而且亞馬遜的故事並非個案。

Another disruptor Netflix and even a more traditional auto company General Motors both report expected net federal income tax benefits in their 2018 annual filings.
另一家破壞者Netflix,甚至是一家更傳統的汽車公司通用汽車公司,都在其2018年的年度報告中發現從預期的聯邦所得稅中獲利。

When we asked Netflix about it, the company highlighted the 131 million it paid in taxes total but wouldn't break out its federal bill.
當我們向Netflix詢問此事時,該公司強調了其共計納稅了1.31億美元,但不會提供他們的稅務明細。

It all seems to be part of a larger trend. over the past 70 years, we've seen a decline in corporate income tax revenue as a share of the larger economy.
這似乎都是更大趨勢的一部分。 在過去的70年裡,我們看到企業所得稅收入在較大經濟體中的份額下降。

And in the last decade, companies as diverse as Southwest and Goldman Sachs, just to name a few, have all had at least a year where they reported net tax benefits in their SEC filings, but could lower in America's corporate tax rate actually make it more competitive for companies to do business here? 
在過去十年中,不同領域中像西南航空和高盛這樣的公司,僅舉幾例,都有至少一年的時間,他們在美國證券交易委員會的文件中報告了淨稅收獲利,但降低美國公司的稅率,是否真的讓公司在這裡開展業務更具競爭力?

I think what a lot of economists would say is that the corporate tax is a very bad tax.
我想許多經濟學家會說,公司稅是一種非常糟糕的稅。

One you have a sort of a global economy where economic activities everywhere you have other countries cutting their tax rates.
現在全球經濟,讓交易行為發生在全球各地,讓國家們為了吸引投資,降低公司稅。

You want to sort of incentivize economic activity to be in your country.
你希望激勵你所在國家的經濟活動。

What do you want these companies to do?
你希望這些公司做什麼?

You want them to invest in new machinery, wants them invest in their workers, you want them to have more profits, which then they can use to invest more.
你希望他們投資新機器,希望他們投資於他們的工人,你希望他們有更多的利潤,然後他們可以用來投資更多。

That's what you want corporations to do.
這是你所希望企業們做的。

You don't want corporations necessarily be paying lots of taxes or if that's not what they're there for.
你不會希望公司義務性的必須繳納大量稅款,而且這也不是他們在你國家交易的目的。

Others say it deprives the country of much-needed tax revenue without a lot of benefit.
其他人則表示,如果它會在沒有其他好處的情況下,剝奪該國急需的稅收。

We may yet succeed in this experiment of lowering our effective tax rates and our statutory tax rates to draw more business to the US.
我們可能尚未在降低有效稅率和法定稅率的實驗中取得成功,從而為美國吸引更多業務。

But so far, we're not seeing the type of level of growth and business and investment that would make up for the lost revenue when we lowered our tax rates from 35 to 21.
但到目前為止,當我們將稅率從35降至21後,我們沒有看到可以彌補收入損失的收益和業務及投資上的成長。

So yeah, that's an issue because we need the money.
所以這會是個大問題,因為我們需要那些錢。

As of 2017, the US corporate tax revenue as a share of the larger economy was lower than most other pure nations ranking below Italy, South Korea and Mexico.
截至2017年,美國企業稅收佔較大經濟體的份額低於排名;低於義大利,韓國和墨西哥的大多數其他國家。

We're in a lot of trouble.
我們有大麻煩了。

We're facing one trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.
就我們看到的,我們正面臨著一萬億美元的赤字。

Ultimately, this means everyone else has to pick up the slack.
最終,這意味著其他所有人都必須收拾殘局。

That two billion dollars Amazon is not pained will have to get paid by smaller businesses that don't have the wherewithal to lobby for tax breaks.
亞馬遜沒有支付的20億美元將不得不由那些沒有足夠資金來達到減稅標準的小型企業來支付。

It'll get paid by middle-income families in the form of higher taxes in some way.
會以某種方式提高中等收入家庭的稅收。

The reality is, this is how business has been done for years.
實際情況是,這就是多年來商業的運作型態。

Corporations with savvy lobbyists on their payroll have found ways to convince politicians in both parties to leave loopholes in the tax code.
大企業有其專門的遊說者,並且有方法讓兩黨的政客們在稅務條款中留下法律漏洞。


So I'm a tax lawyer and I drafted tax rolls for Congress for six years.
我是一名稅務律師,我為國會起草了六年的稅務卷。

Multinationals have a very strong presence on the Hill.
跨國公司在國會擁有非常強大的影響力。

When I was there, we would meet every week with companies and their their lobbyists.
當我在那裡時,我們每週都會與公司及其說客見面。

And I think the interest is disproportionate.
我認為這種利益上是不成比例的。

I mean, every American including every American company, has a right to petition Congress and to share their concerns with Congress.
我的意思是,包括每個每個美國人,包括美國公司在內,都有權向國會請願並與國會分享他們的關切。

The trouble is, sometimes of those with the most resources have the loudest voice.
但現在問題是,有更多資源的人才有更大的聲音。

But business as usual may be changing, as average Americans have begun to wonder whether this bargain really benefits them.
但商業一如既往的善變,普遍美國人民開始懷疑這筆交易是否真的對他們有利。

 it's a question that came front and center during Amazon's hunt for a second headquarters.
這個問題從亞馬遜開始拓展第二個總部時開始鮮明化。

Amazon has made it official.
亞馬遜剛剛證實。

The online giant announces splitting its new headquarters into two locations.
線上電商巨人宣布要將新的總部分到兩個地點。

Crystal City in Northern Virginia and Long Island City in Queens.
北弗吉尼亞州的水晶城和皇后區的長島市。

The company courted massive interest from hundreds of cities.
該公司引起了數百個城市的巨大興趣。

Amazon today saying they are bringing at least 25,000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000.
亞馬遜今天表示,他們將帶來至少25,000個工作機會,平均薪水為15萬美元。

New York's governor ,and mayor saying the $3 billion dollars in tax incentives they gave Amazon for an expected twenty seven point five billion in tax revenue would pay off big for New Yorkers.
紐約州長和市長表示,他們向亞馬遜提供30億美元的稅收優惠政策,預計將獲得27億點稅收收入,這對紐約市民來說將是巨大回報。

That is the highest rate of return for an economic incentive program that the state has ever offered.
這是該州有史以來提供最高回報率的經濟激勵計劃。


This certainly consolidates New York City as a great international tech hub.
這無疑鞏固了紐約市作為一個偉大的國際科技中心。

Despite positive polling on the deal, a groundswell of New Yorkers vehemently disagreeing.
儘管對這筆交易有進行過了積極的民意調查,紐約人仍然強烈反對。

“Whose city? Our city! Whose city? Our city!”
"誰的城市?" "我們的!" "誰的城市?" "我們的!"

We want to make sure that they know that this community is going to stand up and fight against this deal.
我們要讓他們知道這個團體會站起來對抗,並反對這筆交易。

Any politician in this progressive city and our state whose role to hand up three billion dollars to Amazon, there should be a career ender right there. Period.
在這個進步城市和州裡,任何願意向亞馬遜交出30億美元的政治家們,我們都必須結束他們的政治生涯。就是這樣。

And soon, it all came crashing down.
很快,一切都崩潰。

Breaking news, Amazon canceling its controversial plans.
爆炸消息: 亞馬遜取消其有爭議的計劃。

Now it will not build a headquarters in New York.
他們不會在紐約建立總部。

The world's biggest company just got sent packing thanks to an unfriendly welcome by New Yorkers.
由於紐約人的不友好歡迎,世界上最大的公司剛剛被打包送走了。

Has the populist victory in the HQ to fight changed the game?
民粹主義在這個總部設立的勝利是否改變局勢了?

I mean it shows that everyday Americans can have more say in this country than the richest man in the world.
我的認為,這表示一群美國人民們在這個國家有比一個世界首富還更多的發言權。

Will it ignite a grassroots movement demanding that loopholes be tightened and the effective tax rate be raised all the way up to the federal level?
是否會引發基層運動要求處理法律漏洞和改善有效稅率,且將事態提升到聯邦等級?


We should not have a regressive tax system in which large profitable corporations like Amazon pay nothing in federal income taxes.
我們不應該有一個累退的稅收制度,讓像亞馬遜這樣的大型盈利公司在聯邦所得稅中不支付任何費用。

Or is it just a flash in the pan?
或者這只是曇花一現?

As even president Trump, a frequent critic of Amazon came to the deal’s defense?
因就連美國總統川普,人經常批評亞馬遜的,也為他們說話。

Well, I think it's a loss to New York City.
嗯,我認為這對紐約市來說是一個損失。

And the $3 billion dollars wasn’t a check.
30億美元不是支票。

It was a form of taxes over a period of time that now they'll never see.
這是一段時間的稅收形式,現在他們永遠都看不到了。

Only time will tell.
時間能證明一切。

But one thing is for sure, it's quite normal for some corporations to pay no income tax to the federal government.
但有一件事是肯定的,現在有一些公司不用向聯邦政府繳納所得稅是很"正常"的。

Is that a normal you're satisfied with?
這對你來說,是"正常"的嗎?

 

Copyright Announcement: The above videos are  from the official Youtube channel of the organization. How Amazon Paid $0 Federal Income Tax in 2018https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvJJ_dzjViJCoLf5uKUTwoA . The videos we selected are all publicly available on the official channel, and we do not own the copyright of these videos. Our work on Chinese translation for this film is free for the 1.2 billion audiences in Mandarin Chinese around the world to watch and learn SDGs and SROI advertising campaigns.