NYC CVS Apparently Mis-Applies Sales Tax To Diapers

Punhon bought diapers at a New York City CVS and was charged 4.875 percent sales tax, which she believes shouldn’t have been applied. She writes:

I recently purchased 2 bags of diapers from CVS in New York City. I was charged with 4.875% of sales tax. I then looked up new sales tax info and even call 311(NYC hotline). They both confirmed that there are 0 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 in New York City. Diapers are considered clothing.

After going into the store and being treated like an idiot, I sent an comment to CVS and asked for an explanation. Here is the response I got from CVS:

Dear Punhon (redacted):

Thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy regarding your purchase of Huggies Diapers.

Effective August 1, 2009, New York City now taxes clothing and diapers are considered clothing. The 4.875% tax rate you were charged is correct.

Again, Punhon, thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy.

Sincerely,

Laura
CVS/pharmacy
Customer Relations
07684510

I’m no tax lawyer, but the New York state tax code seems to disagree with CVS:

The exemption from New York City’s local tax for clothing and footwear regardless of the cost is repealed, and New York City will conform to the New York State exemption for clothing and footwear costing less than $110 per item or pair. As of August 1, 2009, purchases of clothing and footwear costing $110 or more per item or pair in New York City are subject to the full 8 7/8% rate of tax. Purchases costing less than $110 remain fully exempt.

Diapers are expensive enough on their own, let alone when apparently unlawful sales taxes are piled on. New Yorkers, be sure not to buy more than $110 worth per purchase. And if you do spend less, check that sales receipt to make sure you’re not improperly dinged for a tax you shouldn’t have to pay.

(Photo: The Joy Of The Mundane)