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Walmart charges too much sales tax on items purchased with coupons, Penn Hills man's lawsuit claims

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Monday, July 22, 2013, 4:24 p.m.

A Penn Hills man claims in a proposed class action lawsuit that Walmart Inc. charges too much sales tax on items purchased with coupons at its 131 Pennsylvania stores.

Lawyers for Brian Farneth originally filed the lawsuit in Allegheny County Common Pleas but lawyers for the retailer had it moved to federal court Monday because it crosses state lines.

Farneth bought two cans of shaving gel on June 8 with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon and noticed that the Walmart in O'Hara charges him sales tax on both cans, said one of his lawyers, Frank Salpietro.

“It is as simple as that,” he said.

State law requires the company to deduct the coupon amount before applying sales tax if the coupon information is included on the receipt, Salpietro said. Farneth is suing on behalf of anyone who has used a coupon to buy goods at Walmart since June 2007.

Thomas Allen, one of the lawyers representing Walmart, referred questions to the company.

“Walmart's current systems, with respect to the collection and remittance of sales tax, are in compliance with Pennsylvania's tax laws. We have previously sought an opinion from the state which confirmed this,” according to a prepared statement from Dan Fogleman, a company spokesman.

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