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Thread: I only paid sales tax on the discounted price of a two-year contract AT&T phone.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    I only paid sales tax on the discounted price of a two-year contract AT&T phone.

    In California, sales tax on cellphones is on the price you would have paid without a contract. So that $25 cellphone with a two-year contract may be taxed as if it was $300.

    About the 10th of last month I went to Best Buy and bought a Samsung Eternity for $79.99 with a two-year contract. The phone suits my purpose. I didn't need a true smart phone (with a higher priced data plan), since my work gives me a Blackberry that I hardly use.

    Sure enough the following Sunday I look at the Best Buy insert in my newspaper and see the same phone on sale for $49.99. I was heading in the direction of Best Buy that day anyway, and stopped in to get credited for the difference ($30) with Best Buy's 30 day price match guarantee. I show the person at the customer service desk the ad, and she enters data in the cash register. She tells me my credit card will be credited $53. That sounded high to me, but I said "OK," of course. When I looked at my price match receipt, I see I was also credited $23 in sales tax. This took the net sales tax I paid to about $4.50, which is just the tax on $49.99. I can't give the exact amount to the penny here, since there was another purchase added into my original receipt, but I'm within a few cents. Their computer is computing the entire tax I should have paid on the price-matched amount. I guess it's not programmed to take into consideration how cellphones are priced.

    So my advice is if you know the cellphone you want will be on sale soon at Best Buy, buy it from them just before the sale and then go back for the price match guarantee.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Since the normal price of the phone was the same in both cases, the sales tax should have been unchanged. The store made a mistake.
    Earl F. Parrish

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Atleast you KNOW about sales tax pricing lol.

    You won't have fun until you get the customer that buys a "free" Blackberry Bold as part of a refurb package and then you ask for their credit card information to pay their ~$50 balance.

    Oh, good times.

    And I'm not even in sales.
    My opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer AT&T.

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