America’s wealthiest family has a combined net worth of at least $150 billion as estimated by Forbes.
The Waltons, the descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, now own more than 50% of the Wal-Mart Corporation. With their current wealth, this has put four among the six members in the current Forbes Top 10 list of the richest Americans.
Sam had another younger brother James also known as Bud Walton and sources said the two of them co-founded Walmart. Christy is the daughter-in-law of Sam Walton and widow of John. Jim, Alice and Samuel Robson are Sam’s children. Ann and Nancy are Bud Walton’s daughters.
Christy Walton is the richest woman in the world with a $25.3 billion net worth. Jim aka James Carr has $23.7 billion; Alice with $23.3 billion; Samuel Robson with $23.1 billion; Ann with $3.9 billion and Nancy with $3.4 billion. Alice Walton is the heiress to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the founder of Crystal Bridges.
The same with other wealthy American families, the Waltons are not spared from tax evasion issues.
Bloomberg’s Zachary Mider stated the Waltons have used tax loopholes to get richer and maintain their wealth, by setting up “Jackie O.” trusts. The trusts, intended for charity can be used “to pass on money tax-free to heirs after a period of time.”
“With a big enough spread between the actual performance and the IRS rate, a Jackie O. trust can theoretically save so much tax that it leaves a family richer than if it hadn’t given a dime to charity,” added Mider. The Waltons held $20.9 billion in Jackie O. trusts in 2011.
Alice Walton’s mother and brother have contributed more than $9 billion into the Wal-Mart Foundation since 2003 to fund a charitable project Crystal Bridges and also to “protect” them from taxation. Her sister-in-law Audrey Walton pioneered a tax-avoidance maneuver now widely used by American billionaires.
“I hate to say it, but the very rich pay very little in gift and estate tax,’’ supported Jerome Hesch, a lawyer at Berger Singerman in Miami. “At the Waltons’ numbers, the savings are unbelievable.’’
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