What to do if you’re charged the wrong sales tax

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Q. The establishments we have been to have been charging 7 percent sales tax. Even though we have pointed it out, they’re not making changes so we have adjusted our sales tax and paid only that amount. The excuse used is that the credit card company is responsible for changing the register and the sales tax is going to go back up anyway. How can I report this?
– Unsatisfied customer

A. The businesses you’re visiting are totally getting it wrong, and you’re correct to doubt the excuses.

All New Jersey merchants must charge the correct sales tax.

The tax was lowered from 7 percent to 6.875 percent in 2017, and lowered again to 6.625 percent in 2018.

Note that not all items are subject to sales tax.

Check this list from the Division of Taxation to see what items are subject to the tax.

You should start by speaking to the managers of the businesses, and then you may need to go to the corporate owner.

Sales tax charged is typically programmed into registers – but not by credit card companies – so you need someone at the company to make the change.

If you want to report it, you can contact the Division of Taxation on the website for Citizens Against Tax Cheats, or CATCH, or by calling (609) 292-6400.

You can even ask for a refund by filing Form A-3730.

If you want to read more about chains that have made sales tax errors, check out this Bamboozled column.

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