Walmart has built a vast, undisclosed network of overseas tax havens—accounting for more than $76 billion of assets—that allows the multinational corporation to shirk public disclosure laws as well as its fair share of both foreign and U.S. taxes, according to a groundbreaking report published Wednesday by Americans for Tax Fairness.
All told, the retail behemoth has established at least 78
subsidiaries in 15 offshore tax havens, none of them publicly reported
before. The stunning revelations are based on research conducted by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, using publicly available documents filed in various countries by Walmart and its subsidiaries.
"Most people know that Walmart is the world's largest corporation," the report begins.
"Virtually no one knows that Walmart has an extensive and secretive web
of subsidiaries located in countries widely known as tax havens.
The analysis, titled The Walmart Web: How the World's Biggest Corporation Uses Tax Havens to Dodge Taxes
(pdf), shows that Walmart has no fewer than 22 shell companies in
Luxembourg—20 established since 2009 and five in 2015 alone. According
to the study, Walmart has transferred ownership of more than $45 billion
in assets to those subsidiaries since 2011, but reported paying less
than 1 percent in tax to Luxembourg on $1.3 billion in profits from 2010
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For a more detailed look at Walmart's overseas shell companies, see the diagram from Americans for Tax Fairness below: