It seems lately that the US Postal Service exists only to deliver tons of junk mail. This type of mail often advertises by targeting specific groups of people and if I get one more packet to join AARP….
I often respond to unwanted credit card offers by stuffing all the material back in the postpaid envelope and returning it to sender. I justify this action by thinking it helps keep postal workers employed.
Nothing angers me more than a local company flagrantly violating the Tax Law by advertising Pay No Sales Tax to promote their products as did Ruby & Quiri, at 307 North Comrie Ave., Johnstown, NY 12095, who describe themselves as being, Your Complete Home Furnishings Super Center.
Today I received two advertisements for this same tax-free sale from Ruby & Quiri, one on the front cover of Amsterdam Monthly Magazine, published by Sacandaga Advertusing LLC, and another printed on a separate insert flyer.
The ad states Pay No Sales Tax* on all American made furniture and select clearance items. There is an asterisk after the word Tax that refers you to the small print at the bottom of the page which reads *Discount equivalent to the cost of sales tax is applied at the time of purchase. However this disclaimer does not compensate for the fact that the advertiser is illegally refunding sales tax to sell a product, as illustrated in the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Publication 34 Sales Tax Advertising Issues.
An increasing number of merchants across the state have been running advertising campaigns that are in violation of the New York State Sales and Use Tax Law. Advertisements that offer to pay all or part of a customer’s sales tax liability, or to refund all or part of the sales tax, or to extend or expand a limited sales tax exemption to other products or time periods, are examples of improper advertisements. These violations could result in additional sales tax being owed by the business or its customers.
New York State Tax Law requires that a vendor must collect sales tax from the customer when collecting the selling price of any taxable item or service. It is illegal for a vendor to advertise or represent to the public in any manner, directly or indirectly, that tax is not considered as an element in the price to be paid by the customer. Therefore, advertisements stating that the customer will not be charged the tax, that the vendor will pay the tax for the customer, or that the tax will be refunded to the customer or applied as a credit against the customer’s bill, account, or future purchases, are prohibited.
In addition, though it is not illegal to advertise or promote sales tax-free periods on sales as provided by the Tax Law, you may not make up your own tax-free periods or exempt items.
I hope Ruby & Quiri as well as Amsterdam Monthly Magazine stop this illegal and deceptive advertising practice.