Walmart fixes sales tax rates
Last updated 8/13/2020 at 2:49pm
Following the July 29 story about incorrect sales tax rates at several businesses and the Aug. 5 update, the Fountain Valley News confirmed that some of the stores found to be overcharging since January have corrected their rates.
In addition, the city of Fountain sent an email to Fountain businesses clearly explaining the correct rate. Signed by Deputy City Clerk Joney Carneal, it explained that the sales tax change went into effect Jan. 1, confirmed that some businesses had not made the necessary change and clarified that while this city tax had changed, the state and county taxes (2.9 percent and 1.23 percent, respectively) had not. The message also told business owners that they could request forms and make payments by visiting the State of Colorado’s Department of Revenue (DOR) website at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/tax.
On Aug. 10 City Manager Scott Trainor said that Walmart had notified the city that it had changed sales tax rates for both of the stores in Fountain. Receipts collected Aug. 7-9 at the Hwy. 85/87 and Venetucci Boulevard Walmarts confirm that the tax rates have been decreased. As of press time, the newspaper had no physical confirmation whether Sam’s Club had made the change, but it was expected to be done along with Walmart.
The most recent advice from the DOR to shoppers who paid too much sales tax was to bring receipts to the stores in question and request refunds. Several unanswered questions for DOR – including whether DOR ever reviews receipts after a tax rate change to ensure stores are in compliance – still have not been resolved. News staff also inquired whether stores involved in this analysis would be audited, but DOR had not responded as of press time.
UPDATE 8-13-20: In response to several questions posed by this newspaper, a DOR representative said this:
"Unfortunately, we can not comment on specific tax payers (to include businesses) due to privacy concerns. As I mentioned before, if someone believes they over payed sales tax they can file a DR 0137B to receive a refund."
The questions we asked DOR included:
"Did the excess sales tax collected end up going to the city? If so, is there any requirement for what happens to that money?"
"Previously you mentioned they [businesses not in compliance] may be audited. What's the likelihood of that?"
"Does DOR or anyone ever look at receipts to verify businesses make the necessary adjustments when tax rates change? Eight months is a long time for these stores to be doing this."
"Also, the suggestion for consumers to obtain refunds by visiting stores with receipts showing the excess tax collected seems a bit difficult, since this dates back to Jan. 1. Most people probably don't keep receipts that long. Is that still the only option?"