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Members of Congress Propose Windfall Tax on Excess Profits

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jun 25, 2024


Citing “record-breaking profits and record-breaking corporate profits and unprecedented corporate greed,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and two other legislators have introduced legislation to impose a 95 percent windfall tax on excess profits, Accounting Today reported.

Sanders and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Ending Corporate Greed Act in the upper chamber, while a companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.).

In his announcement, Sanders noted that corporate profits hit a record high of $2.8 trillion last year, after taxes, and corporate profit margins are currently at their highest rate since the 1950s.

Sanders’ legislation is modeled on previous windfall profits taxes implemented by the United States during World War II and the Korean War. During World War II, the tax rate reached 95 percent, which ensured that companies could not engage in war profiteering, according to the senator’s statement. The United States also enacted a windfall profits tax on oil and gas companies as recently as the mid-1980s.

“The American people are sick and tired of being ripped off by large corporations that continue to make record-breaking profits by charging outrageously high prices for gas, rent, food, and prescription drugs,” said Sanders in the statement. “Enough is enough. We cannot continue to allow large corporations to make obscene profits by price gouging Americans in virtually every sector of our economy. If corporate CEOs and their masters on Wall Street will not end their greed, we must end it for them. It is time for Congress to enact a windfall profits tax.”

If signed into law, the legislation would maintain the existing 21 percent corporate tax on a company’s profit equal to or less than pre-pandemic levels; establish a 95 percent windfall profits tax on a company’s profits that are in excess of their average profit level from 2015-2019, adjusted for inflation; only apply to large companies with $500 million or more in revenue annually; be limited to 75 percent of income in the current year; and only apply to the years 2024, 2025, and 2026, according to a summary of the bill issued by the senator.