Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday introduced a new tax plan targeting the largest U.S. corporations as part of her 2020 campaign platfrom. (Photo: @ewarren/Twitter)

Warren's Bold New Tax Plan Would Raise Over $1 Trillion From 'Richest, Biggest' US Corporations

"Let's make this year the last year any company with massive profits pays zero federal taxes."

Jessica Corbett

Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled yet another bold policy for her 2020 presidential campaign Thursday with a new plan that aims to offset tax loopholes and exemptions exploited by the largest and most profitable U.S. corporations.

"Our corporate tax code is so littered with loopholes that simply raising the regular corporate tax rate alone is not enough."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren

"Some of the biggest corporations in the country make huge profits but pay zero federal corporate income taxes on those profits," the Democrat from Massachusetts explained in a Medium post about the proposal. "Our corporate tax code is so littered with loopholes that simply raising the regular corporate tax rate alone is not enough."

To ensure that major corporations are paying their fair share, the Real Corporate Profits Tax would impose a 7 percent tax on American companies for all annual profits beyond $100 million—which would have applied to  about 1,200 public firms last year, according to Team Warren.

The presidential hopeful, in February, vowed to build her campaign on "ideas and principles" rather than through "fancy receptions" and "big money fundraisers." Her new tax plan follows detailed proposals to establish universal childcare in the United States, help family farmers who are struggling to compete with Big Ag, and break up tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

Her latest announcement comes shortly before Tax Day, and as a new analysis reveals that under the "GOP tax scam" that President Donald Trump signed in late 2017, twice as many corporations are paying no taxes compared with previous years—despite making billions of dollars in profits.

"If you've already filed your taxes this year, chances are you paid more than a lot of the big corporations," Warren pointed out in a series of tweets Thursday morning.

Outlining the need for the new tax, Warren explained that "there are two sets of rules for reporting a company's profits."

Companies follow established financial accounting rules to calculate the value of the profits they report to shareholders and the public. But they follow a different set of tax accounting rules to calculate the "profits" they report to the IRS and pay corporate income taxes on. Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes.

"We need corporate tax reform," she added, "but we also need to recognize that enormous companies with armies of lawyers and accountants will always try to exploit any deductions and exemptions that remain."

Warren's "small new tax" targeting the nation's "richest, biggest corporations" would help "level the playing field for small businesses trying to compete with the giants," she charged. It would also generate massive revenue that the government could put toward serving the public good.

Overall, according to an analysis (pdf) from by a pair of economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the new tax would raise $1.05 trillion on public companies in just the next decade. Amazon, for example, "would pay $698 million in taxes instead of paying zero."

As Warren concluded an email to supporters Thursday, "Let's make this year the last year any company with massive profits pays zero federal taxes."

This post has been updated to clarify Sen. Elizabeth Warren's other 2020 proposals.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·

'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·

Gun-Maker Slammed for 'Children's Assault Rifles' Based on AR-15

"At first glance, this comes across as a grotesque joke," said one gun control advocate. "On second look, it's just grotesque."

Jessica Corbett ·

Biden Urged to Nominate Black Woman to Supreme Court as Breyer Says He'll Retire

"President Biden has an opportunity to secure a seat on the bench for a justice committed to protecting our democracy and the constitutional rights of all Americans, including the freedom to vote."

Brett Wilkins ·

Dems Demand Biden Stop Maintaining Saudi Jets Causing 'Untold Suffering' in Yemen

"Continued servicing of these jets could make the United States complicit in these likely war crimes," tweeted Rep. Tom Malinowski.

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo