A collection of labor and community groups filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s charitable foundation of violating its tax exempt status by using donations in an attempt to facilitate store openings in urban areas.
In the complaint, dated Monday and addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the group claims the Walmart Foundation made donations to ease public opposition as it sought to expand in key markets like Los Angeles and New York.
The group claimed donations spiked around efforts to open stores in a community. For example, it said donations in Los Angeles jumped to US$1.4 million in 2011 as plans for a new store in Chinatown gathered steam before dropping off to US$230,000 in 2013, the year it opened, the complaint said.
The complaint alleges the foundation violated IRS regulations by acting in the interests of a private company and not solely for charitable aims.