The Walton family gets a rollback
gallery fiscal cliff tax dodgers
Deal: Wal-Mart's accelerated fourth quarter dividend
Ticker: WMT
Beneficiary: The Walton Family
Potential tax savings : $181 million

The heirs of Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) founder Sam Walton own roughly half of the big box retailer's stock or 1.6 billion shares outstanding.

Wal-Mart decided to pay the company's January 2 dividend of 39.75 cents a share a few days early on December 27th. In doing so, the Walton family will pay a 15% dividend tax on their $636 million in proceeds. That will amount to $95 million in 2012.

Had the company waited a few days and dividend taxes on the wealthiest Americans jumped to 43.4%, the Walton's tax bill could run as high as $276 million.

A spokesperson for Wal-Mart said the three Waltons on its board of directors recused themselves from the decision to pay the dividend in 2012 instead of 2013. A spokesperson for the Walton family did not return a call for comment.

Source: Getty
  @maureenmfarrell - Last updated December 21 2012 10:54 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.