Mexican retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex, has said it will apply a one-time charge to its second quarter earnings to cover unpaid taxes on products destined for export that were instead sold in Mexico.

The company said the charges "will have an effect of 166m pesos (US$15.9m) on net profit, equal to 0.037 pesos per share," reported Reuters.

The charge relates to merchandise that had been sold for the export market through the company’s Sam’s Club format, but remained in the country to be sold domestically.

"This action, in which people far from the company participated, consisted of simulating export operations with the objective of avoiding payment of the IVA (value-added tax)," Walmex was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The company decided to voluntarily pay the amount of tax it estimated should have been paid and took steps to prevent the same thing happening again. Walmex also said it may take legal action against those involved in the tax scam in a bid to recover its losses.