Walmart Allegedly Overtaxing On 2-For-1 Coupon Purchases (PHOTO)

07/25/2013 03:41 pm ET | Updated Jul 29, 2013
  • The Huffington Post

A Pennsylvania man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Walmart alleging the retailer overtaxed him by 21 cents for items purchased with a coupon, Consumerist reports.

According to a lawsuit filed in Allegheny County, Pa., Brian Farneth purchased two cans of $2.97 shaving cream at a Walmart with a "buy one, get one free" coupon in June. The cashier, Farneth says, correctly deducted the price of one can of shaving cream from the total, but failed to deduct the associated tax, causing him to lose out on 21 cents.

Farneth alleges that he could be one of many customers at Walmart's 8,500 stores across the world that the retailer may be overcharging for coupon purchases.

"Walmart's current systems, with respect to the collection and remittance of sales tax, are in compliance with Pennsylvania's tax laws," Walmart Spokesperson Dan Fogleman wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "We have previously sought an opinion from the state which confirmed this.”

Here is a copy of the receipt, taken from the lawsuit and uploaded by Consumerist:

walmart tax

Tax codes vary from state to state, but Farneth claims that Walmart is specifically in violation of Section 33.2(b)(2) of Pennsylvania's code. The section establishes that items purchased with discounts including “buy one, get one free” will have a "new purchase price" and be taxed as such. The lawsuit also points out that the retailer would benefit financially from overcharging, as the retailer is entitled to a 1 percent discount on taxes it pays to the state.

The lawsuit will now be heard in federal court, Farneth's attorney, Frank Salpietro, told CBS Pittsburgh.

This is not the first time that Walmart has been accused of overcharging customers. Just last year, the big-box retail giant paid $2.1 million in costs and penalties in California. In 2005, the state discovered that 164 Walmart stores were guilty of charging customers higher prices than those advertised.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a comment from Walmart.

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