The GOP tax scam is doing what Republicans intended: helping rich corporations while hurting American families.
Amazon will pay no taxes this year, but Andy Kraft and Amy Elias of Portland, Oregon, just found out they owe more than $10,000.
Welcome to the first tax season under the new GOP tax scam, a time when wealthy corporations pay little or no taxes but families across the country see their refunds shrinking or tax bills skyrocketing.
Kraft told the AP that his "jaw hit the floor" after he entered his information into TurboTax. The amount he and Elias owed was so staggering that he called an accountant to double-check the numbers. But there was no mistake. Thanks to the GOP tax scam, the couple owes more than they did last year.
While families feeling the full negative impact of the 2017 tax scam, Fortune 500 companies are reaping a windfall.
Not only will Amazon pay no taxes on their $11.2 billion profit, but they filed for a $129 million refund, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). ITEP noted Amazon is able to do this because "the Trump administration and its congressional allies included lavish new giveaways" for corporations in the GOP tax scam.
According to Axios, Amazon isn't the only wealthy corporation pulling in multibillion dollar profits and filing for refunds. GM made a healthy $11.8 billion profit, and yet still filed for a $104 million refund. Companies like Goodyear, Netflix, and U.S. Steel each made more than $690 million in profit, and each are claiming refunds this year.
"We've known all along that the Republican tax plan was a corporate giveaway paid for by working families, and large corporations paying little to nothing in taxes is just another example of it," Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) told Shareblue Media.
Republicans made sure the tax code would favor the wealthy and leave middle-class families out in the cold. Without a single vote from Democrats, Trump and his Republican allies slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and Axios noted that corporations still have plenty of loopholes to use.
But for personal income, more than 80 percent of the benefits of the tax scam will eventually flow to the richest 1 percent of families. And middle-class families will feel the burned.
"For generations, Republicans have rewritten the rules of the economy to benefit the largest corporations and the wealthiest individuals at the expense of everyone else — and the GOP's tax law only made it worse," Ryan Thomas, spokesperson for Tax March, said in a statement to Shareblue Media. "The fact that multi-billion dollar corporations with massive profits are paying no federal income taxes while working Americans owe higher tax bills shows just how rigged the tax code is.
Ashley Alt of Illinois told the New York Times she was expecting a smaller refund or maybe owe a little this year. Then she found out she would owe $4,800. "I did not expect to owe two months of take-home pay," she said.
According to early IRS data, about 16 percent fewer people are receiving refunds this year compared to last year. And if people are getting a refund, it is eight percent lower, on average, than last year.
The issue is exacerbated because of new withholding rules in the GOP tax scam. Republicans bragged about bigger paychecks last year, even highlighting a woman who would only take home an additional $1.50 per week. But many taxpayers did not realize that minuscule increases throughout the year would impact their tax refund this April.
According to one government report, roughly 30 million Americans had too little withheld from their regular paychecks last year. This made their take-home paycheck larger, but increased their tax liability, according to the AP.
All in all, Republicans wrote a tax bill to lavish giveaways to Wall Street billionaires, not caring what happened to working-class families. And as Americans are finding out, it is working exactly as they wanted it to.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.