Lawsuit Claims Sam’s Club Overcharges Tax on Sale Items

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Sam's Club tax lawsuit

Lawsuit Claims Sam’s Club Overcharges Tax on Sale Items

A new lawsuit claims that Sam’s Club may make misleading representations about their sales tax. It says that Sam’s Club intentionally or negligently misrepresent the sale prices of their products due to the “excess” sales tax the company collects from their customers.

Van Buren, the plaintiff in this case, claims that sales tax should be calculated based on the purchase price of the item. If an item is on sale or discounted in any way, he argues that this reduced price should be the amount used to calculate sales tax. Instead, he claims that the wholesale retailer charges sales tax based on the item’s regular price.

Van Buren allegedly experienced this sales tax overcharge in July 2018. He says he purchased a Sonicare product on sale for $31.98, an $8 discount from the item’s regular $39.98 price. The sales tax percentage in Maryland is 6%. He argues that, based on a price of $31.98, his sales tax should have been $2.29. Instead of this amount, he was allegedly charged $2.77.

The Sam’s Club class action claims Van Buren experienced this issue during other visits, including trips to Sam’s Club in August, September, and October.

The Sam’s Club Sales Tax Class Action Lawsuit is Van Buren v. Walmart Inc. t/a Sam’s Club, Case No. 1:19-cv-00911, in the U.S. District Court of Maryland.


  1. did this to me several times last year when placing an order for in store pickup when the store price was lower (clearance items specifically). I would receive an automatic price reduction but was charged sales tax on the full price. I learned to just cancel the order when I was at the pickup counter and buy it at their register.

  2. I found the answer to my question at least in New York. If the coupon is issued by the manufacturer, sales tax is charged on the pre-coupon (gross) price. If the coupon is issued by the merchant, sales tax is charge on post-coupon (net) price.

  3. CVS ExtraBucks certificates state: “Tax charged on pre-coupon price where required.” Does anyone know what states require sales tax on the pre-coupon price?

  4. Back in January 2018, I noticed that my go to Lowe’s started charging sales tax on VGCs so I called our local revenue office to inquire if giftcards are now taxable at POS. I was told nothing has changed and VGCs are not taxed at POS; taxes are due (if any) for each transaction made with the GC. I went back to Lowe’s manager to tell him info I got from revenue office and he said he will contact them and told me to come back in 2 days. When I came back, he asked for all my receipts where I was charged tax, added them all and gave me cash refund.

  5. I’ve experienced this from Safeway. Having to pay tax on an item that was free. Safeway also charges sales tax on gift card fees in Hawaii while no other retailers do.


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