When Wayne Hamilton was in his second year of law school at North Carolina Central University Law School in Durham, North Carolina, he took two business tax classes. "I instantly knew I had found my niche as I realized that tax impacted every aspect of life--business or personal--in some respect," he says.
Hamilton, now senior director, global tax controversy, at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is especially intrigued by how tax laws, when properly followed, can be used to augment the financial goals of business. "In particular, the days of tax being viewed as a staid compliance-oriented function are over. The value proposition for tax has shifted to being recognized as a value-driven business partner offering keen insights to help deliver on company financial and business objectives," he says.
Hamilton has continued to reinvent himself throughout his distinguished career because of the changing demands of a fast-paced business environment. He joined Walmart in February 2009 as the leader of the federal controversy team, where he was responsible for building the relationship with the Internal Revenue Service and managing all federal controversy matters. In June 2014, Hamilton took on a rotational assignment as the leader of the property tax team at Walmart, where he led twenty- five associates and managed the company's $1.4 billion of property tax expense.
Prior to joining Walmart, Hamilton worked for JM Family Enterprises Inc., a privately held diversified automotive company in Deerfield Beach, Florida. At JM Family, he held a number of progressively more responsible positions over nine years, including tax counsel and associate counsel for a JM Family subsidiary. He also spent time as a product manager responsible for developing various vehicle-related finance and insurance products.
Before joining JM Family, Hamilton was a tax attorney for General Motors Corp. in Detroit. He also worked for District Counsel-IRS in Miami, where he litigated cases before the Tax Court and was involved in a variety of tax controversy issues related to administrative appeals, audits, criminal investigations, and collection matters.
As the senior director, global tax controversy, at Walmart, Hamilton is accountable for leading the company's global controversy team, with oversight for all federal and state tax audits in the United States while partnering with associates around the globe on international controversy strategy and resolution.