If you’re charged the wrong sales tax

Photo: Dodgerton Skillhause/morguefile.com

Q. I looked at my last few receipts from this weekend and calculated the tax rate and four places are still charging the old 7 percent sales tax rate instead of the new 6.875 percent rate. What’s the best course of action to take when this happens? What laws govern these transactions?
— Taxed enough already

A. The lower sales tax was part of the bill that raised the gas tax, set the estate tax for eventual repeal, increased the retiree income tax break and other issues.

First, make sure the items you purchased are not subject to sales tax.

The Division of Taxation offers this list to help.

This issue has been covered by NJ.com’s Bamboozled column several times.

“Typically, in these cases, businesses are cooperative because they have made a good faith error and are not seeking to enrich themselves by collecting and pocketing sales tax revenues they are not entitled to receive,” a spokesman told Bamboozled in 2013.

If you were wrongly charged, you should start with the businesses where the transactions took place.

It’s possible they’ve made an innocent mistake and haven’t yet updated their computer systems, so you’re doing the store and other consumers a favor to let them know.

If they don’t refund your money and promise to make the change — and they may not — report it to the company’s corporate office.

If that doesn’t produce results either, it’s time to contact the Division of Taxation.

So if the business isn’t responsive to your report, you can ask for a refund by filing Form A-3730.

If you suspect a business is not properly paying its taxes or is otherwise violating the law, you can notify Taxation on the Citizens against Tax Cheats, or CATCH, web page or by calling (609) 292-6400.

Email your questions to .

This post was first published in February 2017.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.