Walmart responds to charity-related allegations

A complaint recently filed with the IRS claims the company only uses its charitable arm in areas it wants to expand. Walmart adamantly denies the accusations.

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A 22-page complaint was sent to IRS commissioner John Koskinen, alleging that the Walmart Foundation has been busy making nice in cities like Boston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles—all key areas of urban expansion for the Walmart brand. The Walmart Foundation is said to use donations in those areas to curry favor and suppress opposition.

The Walmart Foundation “appears to target its donations and influence its grantees primarily to assist Walmart to achieve those expansion goals, ultimately providing Walmart more than an incidental benefit. Walmart Foundation’s activities are impermissible under the Code,” according to the complaint.

From The Boston Globe :

The foundation donated just over $200,000 to organizations in Los Angeles in 2008 and 2009, the complaint said, but raised that amount to $1.4 million in 2011, just as its plans to open a store were getting underway. In 2013, the year that store opened, donations fell to about $230,000.

Donations similarly spiked in Boston around the time that Walmart was looking to open stores there, The Globe reports.

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