Illinois Man Sues Over Sales Tax
- Jul 30, 2013 | Gail Cole
How much sales tax is too much sales tax?
In the case of John McAffee, the answer seems to be 9 cents. That's how much sales tax Mr. McAffee claims the Quiktrip Corporation overcharged him on a purchase of Cheetos and water at a Quiktrip in St. Clair County, Illinois. In response, Mr. McAffee is suing Quiktrip.
On April 28 of this year, Mr. McAffee purchased one bag of Cheetos and two bottles of water from a Quicktrip in St. Clair County, Illinois. He was charged $0.12 sales tax on the purchase of $2.79. The sales tax should have totaled 3 cents, according to Mr. McAffee.
According to the lawsuit, "Illinois is allowed to charge a 1 percent sales tax on all non-flavored, non-carbonated, non-soft drink bottled water. Under state law, it is also permitted to charge up to 1.25 percent sales tax on food items…."
Ask first, sue second
In the event a store overcharges sales tax, the first course of action should be to alert the store of the error and ask for a refund. Retailers collect sales tax on behalf of the state--it passes through them--and they are not allowed to collect more (or less) than is due.
Did Mr. McAffee ask Quiktrip for a refund? The St. Clair newspaper that reported the story doesn't say.
Let's all sue
Mr. McAffee "believes that at least 100 other people have also paid too much in taxes on food purchases from the store." He is asking the court to "certify the class and to award him and other class members damages of more than $50,000, plus attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just."
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