How much world’s richest man donated to bushfire relief

Jeff Bezos has received criticism for the donation. Images: Getty

Amazon founder and world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, has joined the list of billionaire donors supporting Australians impacted by the catastrophic bushfires. 

Bezos, who is worth an estimated AU$158 billion, on Sunday announced Amazon would donate AU$1 million (US$690,000) in “needed provisions and services”.

“Our hearts go out to all Australians as they cope with these devastating bushfires.”

The donation comes after mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest announced a $70 million package, with $10 million to go directly to building a volunteer firefighting force, another $10 million to be spent on communities that need support. 

However, Bezos’ donation wasn’t met with complete gratitude. 

Amazon controversy

“Jeff Bezos makes $149,340 a minute. So he is effectively donating 4.6 minutes of money. If he donated what he makes in a day, that would be $215 million, which would still not be enough,” Reina Sultan observed. 

“This feels like the equivalent of me donating a $5 dollar bill I found in a pair of jeans,” added Lindsey Wasson.

“This is the equivalent of a median net worth American donating 63 cents,” Chris Ingraham also commented.

Amazon has also paid little tax in Australia since it launched in Australia in 2017. 

In 2018, Amazon Corporate Services and Amazon Web Services paid a combined $14 million, after earning $589 million, with its taxable income reduced to $47 million. 

Corporate Tax Transparency report 2017-18.

Corporate Tax Transparency report 2017-18. 

"Corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given our heavy investment and the fact that retail is a highly competitive, low-margin business," Amazon Australia said in a statement explaining the tax paid.

Last year, Amazon in the US paid zero US federal income tax on profits of more than US$11 billion (AU$16 billion). 

The retail giant has come under near-constant pressure due to its tax practices, which see the majority of its global profits counted in Luxembourg under a similar tax structure to those employed by Uber, Google and Facebook. 

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