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Topic: Guitar Center Pro rant

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  1. #1

    Guitar Center Pro rant

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    OK, I just got off the phone with a Guitar Center Pro account exec, and I have to say I'm a bit peeved. Here's the deal, I bought a copy of Opus 1 and shipped it out to Boston, where sales tax is 5%. The account exec is based on NY and he had to drop ship it to Boston. Their computer system charged me NY sales tax, because apparently the computer thinks they're doing a special order to their NY store. Obviously this is flawed and needs to be looked at, because when you're buying something like Opus 1, there is a bit of a difference between 5% tax and whatever NY is (I think 8.5% or something close to it).

    Here's the part that got to me: the account exec said, "well, it's about a $20 difference in tax.. so.. you know, it's just $20." I was like.. uh, actually it's more like $30 difference in tax, and I'm on a tight budget here. Who the heck are these people trying to tell me that "it's just $20, no big deal." Yeah, I am aware Opus 1 retails for $1000.. but that doesn't mean I'm loaded with cash and I'm just going to throw $30 out the window because their computer system is flawed.

    Totally unprofessional. I deal with clients a lot for web projects, and should I make a mistake, even $5, I'm not going to tell them, "Hey, it's just $5" and try to justify my comment because they spent $3000 on me. That's a totally unprofessional attitude. Every penny counts in business, and businesses like this should have the integrity to apologize for the mistake and tell me they'll look into it.

  2. #2

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    NY sales tax is 8.9%. Actually, it's something like 8.9211%.

    Currently, as far as I know, you should not have been assessed NY tax on that sale, unless you are a resident of NY, PA, NJ or Conn. If you are a resident of any of those states..you should have been charged your "home" tax rate..for that purchase..and not "both". As far as I know, no state has a law that would facilitate "double" taxation on sale items that cross state lines. They etiher tax it locally or they don't.

    Personally, I would ask to speak with a manager at that store, and express your dispeasure at being double taxed on a purchase from them, that you could have ordered DIRECTLY from the NY store and not had to pay NY tax ontop of your home tax rate.

  3. #3

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    In rereading your issue..if you weren't double taxed...but just taxed at the higher NY tax rate...this tax rate is not based on "origin of sale" but "destination". If you live in Mass...you should pay Mass tax...whether the item came from NY or not.

    But, just to let you know..NY did recently change it's tax laws regarding out of state sales.

    I actually, as all NY residents do, had to "sign" a declaration of all items purchased over the internet or phone from outside the state that were not assessed NY tax. That's how bad it's gotten. It's sort of like declaring gambling winnings..hahahaha. But anyway, the difference is, IF they find..through records, you have purchases from outside the state that you did not declare for tax purpuposes...they can now prosecute you under the states tax code laws..and that is attached via fed IRS law. (penalties, interest, jail).

    You "have" to sign it..even if you put "zero". They've been cracking down hard on such things in the last year. I would think that transfers of stock within the same store, would not be taxed at origin of stock..but origin of point of sale. And your argument here is...you are NOT a resident of NY..therefore..not subject to NY tax. If there is tax to be paid..it's only your resident local tax of Mass...NOT NY. Further your argument to make to them is..YOU could have ordered the same item from the same place in NY they got it from..and would have only been subject to the 5% Mass tax.

  4. #4

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    Wait a minute. Am I reading this right? If you're buying out of state, why are you being taxed at all? When I buy stuff out of state there's no tax. Period.

  5. #5

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    Rob -

    Not necessarily true -go order something online - depending on the store, you pay sales tax. Apple does this - it's no benefit for me to order online, or go in the apple store.

    Eric
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Eric Doggett
    MoonDog Media
    www.moondogmedia.net

  6. #6

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Doggett
    Rob -

    Not necessarily true -go order something online - depending on the store, you pay sales tax. Apple does this - it's no benefit for me to order online, or go in the apple store.

    Eric
    I didn't realize this. I've never had to pay tax for online orders from out of state. A lot of places even say, "No Sales Tax for Out of State Orders!"

    It's possible that a national company with stores in most states will charge tax (because they happen to have a store in your state), but I don't think it's legal for them to do it otherwise.

  7. #7

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    Washington State (where I live) has a sales tax. Oregon does not.

    When I go to Oregon, which I can see from my home and work, I'm technically supposed to pay Washington sales tax. As if! Nobody does it.

    When Oregon shoppers buy stuff in Washington, they can show their IDs and pay no sales tax on this side of the river.

    -JF

  8. #8

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    Quote Originally Posted by robgb
    I didn't realize this. I've never had to pay tax for online orders from out of state. A lot of places even say, "No Sales Tax for Out of State Orders!"

    It's possible that a national company with stores in most states will charge tax (because they happen to have a store in your state), but I don't think it's legal for them to do it otherwise.
    That may be it. All I know, is one day Apple started charging online, so it became of no real benefit to shop online there.. Some others have as well, I just don't remember which.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Eric Doggett
    MoonDog Media
    www.moondogmedia.net

  9. #9

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    It depends on your state. In most states, you pay sales tax for online sales..if that company you are ordering from..has retail physical space or business within your state. (ie..you bought it online instead of going to the actual store).

    You'll find the same thing at sears or Kmart, etc..any store that has "branch" in your state..you have to pay tax.

    But, it does vary state to state.

    So, in NY at least, they have changed the law regarding this..and you are required to pay NY resident sales tax on "anything" you buy on line whether that company has a branch in NY or not and they are aggressively going after those companies and people who don't pay it.

    Beause of this..and how it differs state to state..many online companies have just started charging and paying sales tax..period...whether they have branch stores in your state or not..to avoid any legal hassles and simplify the records/software/tax etc..they have to keep up with.

  10. #10

    Re: Guitar Center Pro rant

    But, in this case..just to reitterate....that sales tax should only be the rate from your state of residence..not somebody elses.

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