A report released this week by Americans for Tax Fairness titled Walmart on Tax Day: How Taxpayers Subsidize America’s Biggest Employer and Richest Family shows how Walmart and the Walton family receive tax breaks and taxpayer subsidies estimated at more than $7.8 billion a year, while many of its workers are forced to rely on taxpayer-funded programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
The breakdown provided in the report shows where the estimated $7.8 billion in subsidies and tax breaks occurred:
• Walmart receives an estimated $6.2 billion annually in mostly federal taxpayer subsidies. Walmart pays its employees so little that many of them rely on food stamps, healthcare and other taxpayer-funded programs.
• Walmart avoids an estimated $1 billion in federal taxes each year. It uses tax breaks, loopholes, and a strategy known as accelerated depreciation that allows it to write off capital investments considerably faster than the assets actually wear out.
• The Waltons avoided an estimated $607 million in federal taxes on their Walmart dividends which are taxed at a much lower rate than income from salaries and wages. The report also estimated that $7.8 billion is enough to hire 105,000 new public school teachers.
In reaction to the news that the country’s largest retailer and richest family received an estimated $7.8 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in 2013, Walmart workers and taxpayers in Phoenix delivered a $7.8 billion tax bill to Walmart Chairman Rob Walton’s home in Paradise Valley, outside Phoenix.
“Like most Americans, I work hard, pay my taxes and play by the rules. Why can’t America’s richest family pay their fair share of taxes like the rest of us?” said Venanzi Luna, a Walmart worker who undersigned the bill.