Corporate taxes

Experts weigh taxing robots to pay for the jobs they take

Photo of industrial robots working on cars on an assembly line
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa/Getty

Most Americans will file their income taxes by midnight tonight, and employers will report their payroll taxes later this month. But companies that have replaced or expanded their flesh-and-blood staff with robots will get a free pass.

What's new: Amid fears of automation-fueled job loss, a once-fringe debate is exploding into public view: Why don't we tax the bots?

Elizabeth Warren proposes new tax for big corporations

In this image, Elizabeth Warren stands and speaks behind a blue podium.
Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) released a new corporate tax proposal on Thursday that would create a new 7% tax on corporations' profits over $100 million.

Details: Warren's proposal estimates that her "Real Corporate Profits Tax," which targets the profits reported by companies on their financial statements and would come in addition to existing tax liabilities, could bring in $1 trillion over 10 years. She used Amazon as a prominent example, arguing her proposal would have caused the tech giant to pay $698 million in taxes in 2018 instead of $0, despite its record profits.