Sales tax change prompts refunds from SC retailers

Sales tax change prompts refunds from SC retailers

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by RICHARD DEVAYNE / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @richardwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 25 at 6:01 PM

YORK, S.C.  – More stores are still incorrectly collecting sales tax on food items in York County.

For Kayla Patel, a 10-cent error on her shopping bill may not seem like much, but as she said after learning that retailers are no longer suppose to collect a one percent sales tax (projects tax) on exempt food items, “It all adds up.”

On Tuesday NewsChannel 36 learned that several stores in York County are still collecting this tax, almost four months after the Department of Revenue informed stores of the new rules. Last year the Capital Projects Collections generated  $24,538,504 from York County.

While Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter said they did not know about the new rules until they were contacted by NewsChannel 36, they also said that they are now working to take care of their customers.

A representative from Harris Teeter told NewsChannel 36, “Harris Teeter became aware of the modified tax on April 24, 2012. The company immediately updated its systems and is contacting its customers who were charged incorrectly for the purpose of offering refunds.”

The Harris Teeter representative did not elaborate on how the stores would conduct the refunds, but said they wanted to make sure that their shoppers were satisfied.

Lowes Foods, meanwhile, also said they are working to fix the problem.

Retail giant Walmart was also charging the one percent sales tax and said after NewsChannel 36 contacted them about the issue they are working to take care of the problem.

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Once we became aware of the situation, we began working to fix this. If a customer believes they were mischarged sales tax, they can come back to the store with their proof of purchase to receive a refund,” said Walmart spokeswoman Kalya Whaling in a statement.  “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

NewsChannel 36 also found several stores that have been in compliance with the sales tax rules and not collecting that tax. Family Dollar and Dollar General are two retailers who are not collecting the sales tax.

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