Wal-Mart Stores Inc. owns more than $76 billion of assets through a web of units in offshore tax havens around the world, though you wouldn’t know it from reading the giant retailer’s annual report.More details at Bloomberg Business.
A new study has found Wal-Mart has at least 78 offshore subsidiaries and branches, more than 30 created since 2009 and none mentioned in U.S. securities filings. Overseas operations have helped the company cut more than $3.5 billion off its income tax bills in the past six years, its annual reports show.
The study, researched by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and published Wednesday in a report by Americans for Tax Fairness, found 90 percent of Wal-Mart’s overseas assets are owned by subsidiaries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, two of the most popular corporate tax havens.
Units in Luxembourg -- where the company has no stores -- reported $1.3 billion in profits between 2010 and 2013 and paid tax at a rate of less than 1 percent, according to the report...
Randy Hargrove, a Wal-Mart spokesman, called the report incomplete and “designed to mislead” by its union authors...
Nearly a decade ago, Wal-Mart ran into trouble over strategies to avoid U.S. state income taxes. It used a real estate investment trust to effectively pay rent to itself, generating big tax deductions, even though the rent payments never left the company. At least six states changed their tax laws after publicity about the tactics.
Since then, Wal-Mart has stepped up its use of offshore tax havens. It has created 20 new subsidiaries in Luxembourg alone since 2009, according to the report.
17 June 2015
$76,000,000,000 in overseas tax havens
And that's just Walmart -