Ohio Auto Dealership Denied Sales Tax Refund Due to Deduction from Customer Refund

An Ohio auto dealership is not entitled to a refund of sales tax paid on an automobile because it did not refund the entire purchase price to the customer upon the vehicle’s return. The vehicle was sold to, then returned by, a customer and traded in for a different vehicle. Upon the vehicle’s return, the dealership deducted $100 for mileage from the refund of the purchase price to the customer. The dealership claims that it should be refunded the sales tax as the purchase of the vehicle was voided and the sales tax was erroneously paid. However, in a previous Ohio court case, the ruling stated that a transaction is not treated as a return “if the vendor or seller deducts from the customer’s refund any amount for use, damage, or wear and tear of the merchandise returned.” That ruling required that the vendor refund the full purchase price in order to receive a refund of sales tax from the state. As such, the Board of Tax Appeals found that the dealership is not entitled to a refund of sales tax. (Destiny’s Auto Sales, LLC v. Levin, Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, No. 2008-M-1773, February 8, 2011)

Posted on August 19, 2011