Walmart is to pay a fine of £5.4m to resolve claims it made millions of pounds of bogus VAT refunds to customers in the UK and elsewhere.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ken Frazier, said the settlement was the result of a “long and protracted legal battle”.
“We’ve always acted in good faith and always have,” he said.
“The company acted in the best interests of its customers and our suppliers.”
The company had faced the possibility of losing millions of dollars in refunds from customers who had been told the payments were fake, but it had been able to secure the maximum penalties under UK VAT rules.
Walmart, which was launched in 1971, is one of the world’s biggest retailers, with a turnover of £15.6bn.
The US-based company has long been criticised by charities and consumer groups for its practices.
It has been criticised for offering “cash for service” contracts to suppliers, and its payment practices, including the practice of sending cash back to customers.
Last year, it was fined £25m for paying more than £7m to suppliers who made false invoices.
WalMart also faced a class action in the US for failing to pay millions of customers who wrongly believed it was making tax payments.
It was also ordered to pay back a total of £1.8bn in refunds.
The BBC reported that Walmart has been forced to pay more than $10bn in VAT refunds since 2006.