A new report from Americans for Tax Fairness, How Walmart is Dodging Billions in Taxes: And Scheming to Avoid Billions More, details the ways that Walmart avoids paying $1 billion in taxes a year and is spending massive amounts of money so it can pay even less in taxes. The largest retailer in the country is owned by the richest family in the country and faces constant criticism for paying workers wages so low that many of its employees can't make ends meet. Here are five ways that Walmart avoids or tries to avoid paying taxes in the U.S.:
1. Dodging $1 billion in annual taxes: U.S. corporations are supposed to pay a 35% tax rate, but through loopholes, Walmart paid an average rate of 29.1% from 2008 to 2012, a total of $5.1 billion avoided over five years.
2. Trying to avoid another $720 million a year by lowering corporate tax rates: Walmart is one of the key entities lobbying to lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, which would reduce the company's tax bill by $720 million a year. Walmart employs 74 lobbyists in this area, and others, and has spent $32.6 million on lobbying in the past five years. Its PAC contributed $6.1 million in federal elections since 2009, and Walmart is a member of three major business coalitions lobbying for lower corporate tax rates: the RATE Coalition, the Alliance for Competitive Taxation and the Business Roundtable.
3. Allowing employee compensation to be subsidized by the taxpayers: Because Walmart pays its workers so poorly, food stamps, Medicaid and other taxpayer-funded programs are needed to supplement employees' income, costing an estimated $6.2 billion a year.
4. Offshoring profits: More and more of Walmart's profits--$21.4 billion in 2013--are being offshored in what looks like an attempt to pile up cash overseas rather than pay taxes in the U.S.
5. Pushing for a territorial tax system: The company is lobbying to create a territorial tax system that would eliminate all U.S. taxes on offshore profits, which could cut billions more from Walmart's tax bill.