Target Shoppers Lose Bid for Tax Refund on Coffee

     (CN) – Two Target customers lost their bid for reimbursement of sales tax for buying hot coffee to go. A California appeals court said the plaintiffs lack standing because Target, not the customers, actually pays the taxes.

     Kimberly Loeffler and Azucena Lemus sued Target, arguing that the store is not entitled to collect sales tax from its customers on these coffee purchases.
     Justice Kitching of the Los Angeles-based appeals court ruled that customers can collect sales tax refunds only under specific circumstances which are not present in this case.
     The plaintiffs lack standing, Kitching ruled, because the taxes are actually paid by Target, and the customers are only reimbursing the store for the taxes.
     Reimbursements are only available in cases where a retailer or auditor proves that the retailer has paid too much in sales tax, the justice explained.
     “Because they are not the taxpayers,” Kitching wrote, “plaintiffs cannot file a claim for a sales tax refund and thus cannot file a suit for a sales tax refund.”

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