Bernie Sanders Takes Aim At Netflix For Paying Less Income Tax Than An $8.99 Subscription

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during the Nevada Democrats' "First in the West" event at Bellagio Resort & Casino on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
David Becker / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took to Twitter Tuesday to call out Netflix for the amount of income tax the company paid in 2018, Newsweek reports.

“Your $8.99 Netflix subscription is more than the company paid in federal income taxes last year (nothing),” he wrote. “We are going to make massive corporations finally pay their fair share.”

According to Netflix, the company paid an effective tax rate of 1 percent in 2018, which is still far below the federal corporate tax rate of 21 percent, Bloomberg reports. The company reportedly claimed deductions and research expenses it was eligible for by paying employees in stock.

In addition, Netflix reportedly paid approximately $133 million in foreign taxes in 2018, which allowed them to receive foreign tax credits that put the company’s tax rate into the negative.

According to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), at least 60 of the wealthiest corporations in America did not pay federal income taxes in 2018. Sanders’ progressive campaign often takes aim at income equality as well as large corporations that benefit from tax breaks and loopholes — the latter of which ITEP senior fellow Matthew Gardner claims are used by many profitable corporations to avoid paying taxes.

Sanders previously attacked Amazon for zero in federal income taxes in 2018.

“Amazon made $16.8 billion in profits over the past two years but have paid ZERO in federal income taxes. In fact it got a $269 million tax refund. Our job: Demand large corporations pay their fair share in taxes so that we can rebuild the disappearing middle class.”

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The Democratic candidate also recently addressed The New York Times’ report that FedEx didn’t owe any taxes for the fiscal year 2018 and suggested it was connected to Donald Trump’s tax bill.

“Where did the money from Trump’s ‘tax cuts for the middle class’ go?” Sanders tweeted before suggesting it was funneled into “wealthy corporations” that have enriched their executives and shareholders via stock buybacks.

Per The Hill, the Vermont senator previously attacked Trump’s tax bill for helping wealthy corporations avoid paying taxes. The bill reportedly provided a $1.5-trillion tax cut to United States corporations when it went into effect back in January 2018.

Critics of Trump’s tax bill suggest that it not only benefitted the wealthiest Americans and corporations most, but it did not stimulate the economy as the president predicted it would. According to a CNBC report, only a small amount of 2018’s economic growth was the result of the tax bill. In particular, the report notes that “ordinary workers” saw little growth in their wage rates.