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Hertz and the Costly Computer Error

  • Jan 9, 2015 | Gail Cole

 Hertz owes Allegheny County hundreds of thousands in rental taxes.

The Allegheny County Controller has uncovered a substantial tax liability for the Hertz Corporation. The rental car agency was found during an audit to owe the Pennsylvania county approximately three-quarters of a million dollars. That’s a lot of rented cars.

According to Hertz, a computer error caused the underpayment of rental car taxes collected at the Pittsburg International Airport. Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner was pleased to share the news that “Hertz has worked cooperatively” with her office “to identify the problem.”

The glitch

Under county rules, a two-dollar per day rental vehicle tax must be collected on every vehicle rented in the county. This applies to vehicles rented at the airport. Each month, rental agencies are required to remit the tax, which was enacted in 2008, to the County Treasurer’s Office. Wagner began auditing rental car companies at the Pittsburg International Airport in 2012.

Hertz was found to have “failed to remit $435,577 for operations at the airport.” The company is also liable for $307,530 in penalties and interest. County Treasurer John Weinstein has announced he will seek full repayment, “including penalties and interest.”

According to Wagner, “This audit uncovered three quarter of a million dollars over a 3 year period. Expanding the scope further back to 2008 may recover even more funds for Allegheny County.”

Her office is now auditing contracts at the Pittsburg International Airport.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.