It’s common knowledge that many big corporations either pay very little in taxes or don’t pay taxes at all. Video game companies are no exception to this, especially in regards to publishers. Activision taxes, for instance, were quite literally $0 in 2018, while gamers paid them $228 million, according to the ITEP.
The ITEP, the “Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy”, makes it its mission to monitor the income taxes of some of the largest companies in the world. Their job has only gotten harder recently as President Donald Trump passed a tax bill that allowed companies to pay less in taxes.
To be specific, Activision taxes are actually -51%. The stupidly low tax rate is why the company was actually paid $228 million by gamers instead of any kind of tax rebate. Activision isn’t the only company the ITEP has noticed to be committing tax avoidance.
The tax bill passed by Donald Trump and the US government was passed under the reasoning that companies would make use of the money that they earned with the lower tax rates to help better the country and increase pay for their employees. However, the opposite happened, as most companies used it to further their own stock options rather than helping their employees.
In addition to the millions of dollars gamers paid Activision in “taxes”, the company also took in $447 million in income, and that’s not even getting into all of the rest of the money it made from other parts of the world like Europe and Asia.
According to ITEP, some of the other companies that are avoiding income tax include Amazon, the energy company Chevron, Delta Airlines, General Motors, and many others. Activision is just one out of a list of 60 overall companies that are doing it.
But, unless the laws change, gamers don’t really have a choice with Activision taxes but to suck it up and deal with it, especially when even your favorite game studios are all tied in some way to a big corporation.