Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pier 1 customer alleges store overcharged her in sales tax, files class action

State Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 12, 2019


PITTSBURGH – An Irwin woman alleges she was charged sales tax on the full retail price of items purchased at Pier 1 Imports instead of the discounted price from the use of a coupon.

Carol Finlon, who sued on behalf of herself and others in her situation in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, alleges she purchased merchandise from Pier 1 with coupons so the price would be lower. She alleges that she was charged the state sales tax on the full price of the item, not the reduced price.

“When a retailer sells taxable goods in Pennsylvania and is presented with a coupon or other discount code reducing the purchase price of taxable goods, the retailer is unequivocally required by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Tax Regulations to exclude the amount of the discount from the calculation of sales tax to be charged and collected on the customer’s purchase,” according to the lawsuit.

In Finlon’s case, she alleges in February she bought four items at $9.98 each for a subtotal of $39.92 and used a coupon for $20 off her purchase. She alleges taxes in the amount of $2.79 were added before the $20 coupon was deducted from the purchase price.

Finlon alleges Pier 1 of overcharges customers in violation of the Pennsylvania Tax Regulations. She also alleges that because of the alleged overcharging, Pier 1 employees also get extra commission.

While the amount that Pier 1 has made from allegedly charging too much tax is unknown (but is expected to be millions), Finlon asked the court to enjoin Pier 1 from overcharging customers moving forward and to compensate customers for what they’ve overpaid.

She sued on four counts: violation of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, misappropriation/conversion, breach of constructive trust and unjust enrichment. She also demanded a trial by jury.

Finlon is represented by R. Bruce Carlson and James P. McGraw of Carlson Lynch in Pittsburgh.

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Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County

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