CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A warning if you bought gift cards as a present this year.

Did you look closely at the receipt? If you paid sales tax, you shouldn’t have.

A North Carolina woman said the amount was small, but it was the principle of it so she decided to “Get McGinty” to make it right and warn others.

I received an email from a viewer who was upset she was charged sales tax on a gift card purchase. The whole thing cost her $15 more than it should have and she wasn’t going to let it drop.

Debra sent me the email saying she bought a gift card for her grandson, the card is worth $150 to the Bootbarn. But Debra said she ended up paying $165 by the time it was done. Then she noticed the sales tax, an additional charge of $10.88. On top of that, she noticed a $5 charge to ship it to her.

In researching gift card san costs, you’ll see that you don’t have to pay sales tax. It’s an important reminder that when it comes to the rules of buying gift cards, which is more than a $9 billion industry.

First, gift cards can only expire five years after the date the card was purchased or the date money was last loaded onto the card. Consumers must also be made aware of all gift card fees. The expiration and fee information needs to be displayed on the card and the cashier selling the card should explain the fine print before selling the card.

As for Debra and her card, I contacted Bootbarn and within a few hours of my email, they refunded the sales tax and the cost of shipping it to her.

Not a huge financial win, but a win nonetheless!

If you have a problem, and you need to get McGinty, send Bill an email. You can also find him on Twitter. His phone number is 704-329-3766.