A FedEx employee loads deliveries in San Francisco.
A progressive group urging Congress to raise the corporate tax rate is launching an advertising campaign for FedEx and Nike, two large American companies with light federal taxes, the group said on Monday.
Tax March, which held dozens of demonstrations in 2017 urging former President Donald Trump to publish his tax returns, plans to post ads for FedEx on Tuesday. The television commercials will air in Washington, DC and in Memphis, Tennessee, where FedEx is headquartered.
A report by the Institute for Taxes and Economic Policy said FedEx “zeroed its federal income tax on $ 1.2 billion in pre-tax income in 2020 and received a $ 230 million discount.” The report says the lack of tax payments by some companies is likely related to historical tax breaks, as well as Trump’s 2017 tax reform plan and certain elements of the coronavirus relief act known as the CARES Act.
Tax March also plans to target Nike next week with a newspaper ad in the shoe giant’s home state of Oregon, according to Dana Bye, the group’s campaign leader. She said the newspaper ad will have a message similar to the TV ad that focuses on FedEx.
The institute’s report states that Nike did not “pay a cent of federal tax on nearly $ 2.9 billion in pre-tax income last year, but received a tax rebate of $ 109 million.”
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“FedEx will pay all federal, state and local taxes totaling over $ 20 billion between 2016 and 2020. During that time, Congress passed new tax laws to help companies like FedEx make additional investments in their employees The local economies have created new jobs and improved infrastructure. These changes were laws, not loopholes, “company spokeswoman Isabel Rollison said in a statement after the story was published.
After making her initial statement, Rollison later told CNBC, “FedEx will pay all US federal, state and local taxes totaling over $ 9 billion between 2016 and 2020.”
“FedEx has collected and remitted over $ 20 billion in taxes in the United States (individual income, payroll, customs fees, and state and local sales taxes) for the past five fiscal years 2016-2020,” she added.
A Nike representative did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
President Joe Biden said he would raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to fund his $ 2 trillion infrastructure reform package. Since then, he has stated that he is ready to negotiate a possible corporate tax hike as moderate Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., pushed the tax rate back to 28%.
Bye said the campaign will cost nearly $ 500,000 in total. It will also include digital ads on Facebook and other platforms.
The TV ad, which was first reviewed by CNBC, targets FedEx as one of several companies that have recently paid little to no federal corporate income taxes.
“Tell Congress, it’s time to put people first,” said a voice-over on the FedEx ad. “Let companies like FedEx pay their fair share.”
FedEx recently told CNBC that it opposed a corporate tax hike to pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan. Stakeholders like the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have also spoken out against the idea of raising the corporate tax rate to pay for the infrastructure.
“I think the biggest message we’re trying to make with this campaign is that we can’t let tax evaders like FedEx drive the tax debate,” Bye said.
Tax March is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501 (c) (4) dark money organization that donated just over $ 60 million to democratic groups, including millions to Super-PACs, during the 2020 election , the Biden support the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Tax March’s campaign is one of the first to adopt companies since Biden became president. Corporations are under pressure to respond to new electoral laws recently passed in Georgia.