Lexington, SC asked in Business Law and Tax Law for South Carolina

Q: WalMart refused my mom that is 93 years old the 1% sales tax exclusion as per law. what action can I take?

Tax code that pertains to retailers given senior citizens 85 years and older a 1% sales exclusion from purchasing tangible personal sales for his own personal use. Code 12 - 36 - 2646 pertains to retailers responsibilities. A store like Walmart in West Columbia 2401 Augusta Rd 29169 Phone 803-796-9144 refused to honor this to my mother that's 93 years old with proof of age and was told they stopped doing this 2 years ago. This was before anything had been purchased and the store assistant manager Thomas and supervisor Kimberly was called. I reported this to the SC Dept. of revenue and talked to Mary Pillow at 803-898-5175 and was told they do not send a representative out unless a complaint has been filed. She said after I called her back after my problem I was told they would follow through with my complaint. How many senior citizens 85 and older are being denied this benefit because the law is not known. How would someone file a complaint if they did not know the law even existed?

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Nice work. Sounds like you may be getting Walmart's attention soon.

Regarding you lamentation about the difficulty of enforcement, you are correct: Unless the elderly are informed about this benefit they cannot avail themselves of it. One way to inform them is by class action litigation.

However, none of the lawyers answering questions on this free public interest site can take up the mantle you just laid down unless and until someone who has legal standing to sue (i.e., someone who has been injured by this unlawful practice). So: If your 93 year old mom actually paid the 1% tax she did not owe, she might have standing to sue, and perhaps become a named class member; however, you do not have standing. Why? Because you are not 93, and have not been harmed--personally.

Suggestion: Search for experienced South Carolina class action lawyers and shop around; perhaps one or more will take a look at this opportunity to correct an injustice.

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