2007/02/01/Wal-Mart pays itself rent, gets large tax breaks

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Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer and the world's biggest retailer, is regularly paying itself rent and using the transaction to decrease the taxes it pays to state governments, according to a report in this morning's Wall Street Journal.

The article by Jesse Drucker shows that Wal-Mart has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes in 25 states, and may not be the only company using the practice. Drucker shows that state governments are finally getting wise and working to close a complicated tax loophole that the federal government discontinued years ago.

Wal-Mart is using a tax loophole involving "real-estate investment trusts" to call "rent" it pays to itself a tax-deductible business expense, Drucker explains. A Wal-Mart subsidary will pay rent to a real-estate investment trust, which is owned by another Wal-Mart subsidiary. The trust hands the rent to the second subsidiary in the form of a dividend, which cannot be taxed. Additionally, Wal-Mart counts the initial rental payment as a business expense, which is deducted from taxes in the state where the store is located. In one four-year period, Wal-Mart avoided $350 million in taxes using this strategy, which was developed by the accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP.


AuthorMichael Roston +
Page typeLink +
SiteThe Raw Story +
SummaryWal-Mart, the nation's largest employe
Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer and the world's biggest retailer, is regularly paying itself rent and using the transaction to decrease the taxes it pays to state governments, according to a report in this morning's Wall Street Journal.
his morning's Wall Street Journal. +
Thing typeArticle +
TitleWal-Mart pays itself rent, gets large tax breaks +
Title/shortWal-Mart pays itself rent, gets large tax breaks +
TopicWal-Mart +, Corporate welfare + and Tax loopholes +
When postedFebruary 1, 2007 +
URL
"URL" is a type and predefined property provided by Semantic MediaWiki to represent URI/URL values.
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/WalMart pays itself rent get large 0201.html +