As the midterms approach, the White House may resurrect earlier proposals
to overhaul the corporate tax program. One component,
the “Amazon tax,” would impose a 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations’ book income (the income reported to investors on financial statements) rather than taxable income, to ensure all companies pay each year. This impulse may seem egalitarian. But because of a quirk in accounting rules governing spectrum licenses, this proposal disproportionately harms wireless companies and could deter broadband buildout.
Explaining the “Amazon Tax”
The book-income tax is intended as the equivalent of an alternative minimum tax for corporations. It was a cornerstone of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) presidential campaign and later found its way into President Joe Biden’s proposed reform package as a way to fund the now-defunct Build Back Better plan
. The goal is to curtail large corporations’ ability to