Were you overtaxed by dish network_

MADISON – Doug Tice might be a guy who Dish Network customers around the state can thank for saving them a few bucks, and it all began with a promotional flyer he received in January.

The flyer offered new Dish subscribers 190 channels for $49.99 a month plus taxes. Or, for a little extra cash, new subscribers could boost the number of channels and hook up additional TVs in their homes.

Tice was sold. Student loans company repayment But soon after signing up, he noticed that his bill didn’t seem right.

Student loans edu gov Dish charged him $78.99 for 240 channels and three hook-ups plus $5.30 in sales tax. Repayment of student loans check changes Tice believed he only owed $3.95 in sales tax under Wisconsin’s 5 percent sales tax rate.

“$1.35 might not sound like a lot to you, but you’re talking about a lot of money when you talk about the number of people they have,” Tice said. “I’m not in it just for myself. Government jobs and student loans I’m in it for my buddy next door who has Dish or a perfect stranger.”

Tice reached out to Dish about his bill. Government website for student loans The company initially disputed his position but later agreed to give him a monthly credit of $1.35, according to emails and billing records that Tice shared with the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Investigative Team.

He didn’t drop the matter, though. Student loans gov mpn Tice, a 63-year-old Oshkosh resident, appealed to state tax officials who ultimately backed up that he’d been overcharged and joined in the pressure against Dish.

“Dish has been instructed to correct its future billings,” a state Department of Revenue official wrote to Tice in a February letter. Repayment of student loans “Based on the information provided, sales tax should have been $3.95… rather than $5.30.”

The state agreed with Tice that Dish had erred in how it calculated sales tax for promotional offers. Site to pay federal student loans The company had basically charged taxes for the total cost of services before subtracting the value of discounts. Pay government student loans In Tice’s case, the practice meant he was taxed for $27 in discounts on top of his $78.99 bill.

“Assuming Dish is not reimbursed by a third party for the rebates they provided, the sales price must be reduced by the rebates prior to calculating sales tax,” state tax officials told Tice. Government student loans canada “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

Department of Revenue officials declined our requests to discuss their messages with Tice and Dish, citing privacy laws. Ed student loans Dish similarly declined requests to address questions about Tice’s bills but acknowledged recently changing its taxing practices in response to state officials.

In a written statement, the company said it calculates sales tax “in accordance with state tax laws and guidance that we receive from state revenue officials. Direct student loan processing center As tax laws and official guidance change, we update our sales tax calculations in an effort to always collect no more — and no less — sales tax than each state requires.

“As a result of guidance that we recently received from Wisconsin revenue officials, we implemented a new sales tax calculation for customers receiving certain credits. Canada student loans As always, we are happy to work with customers on a case-by-case basis to answer any questions about their accounts.”

It’s unclear how many customers could’ve been affected by Dish’s previous taxing practices and for how long. Government student loans south africa Department of Revenue officials said state laws limiting the taxation of discounts haven’t changed for years. Student loans company apply Tice contacted the Investigative Team about his bills in August because he wanted to know if Dish had updated its practices statewide or only in his case. Government loans student He said he is now being charged the correct amount in taxes.

We asked Dish last month if the company had proactively refunded Wisconsin customers who were taxed for discounts like Tice or if eligible customers need to ask for refunds like Tice did. Paying off student loans Dish repeated its openness to working with customers case-by-case and invited customers to send questions to consumertaxissues@dish.com.

State tax officials don’t typically get involved in sales tax disputes over small sums like $1.35. Repaying student loans Under state law, customers who are erroneously charged taxes may seek refunds from sellers or, if the refund being sought is $50 or more, customers may submit formal buyer’s claims to the state Department of Revenue.

When Wisconsin consumers have submitted buyer’s claims, state figures suggest they’ve had a good track record of success. Department of education student loans State tax officials said they received 1,025 claims seeking $8.8 million during their last fiscal year and about 90 percent of those claims were granted in full or in part, totaling about $7 million in refunds.

How many of claims, if any, have involved Dish’s taxing practices in recent years? State tax officials said they don’t know the answer because they don’t “collect information nor generate reports to determine how many buyers, transactions or amounts of claims are for purchases from a particular seller.”

While pleased that Dish recently changed its taxing practices and with Dish’s services, Tice said his experience has raised broader concerns about how well the state is monitoring tax collections by businesses. Goverment student loans What if he had glossed over the amount of sales tax on his bill or never appealed to state officials for help? Would he and other Dish customers still be paying more?

“I don’t think the state would investigate anything unless somebody brings it to their attention,” Tice said. Paying off student loans with a credit card “They just take your word. If you want to fool them I guess you can get away.”

“The Wisconsin Department of Revenue regularly audits sellers to ensure sales tax compliance,” Eileen O’Neill, deputy secretary at the Department of Revenue, said in an email. Student loans uk “Wisconsin law provides for confidentiality in those efforts so consumers may not always be aware of actions that have been taken by the department to make sure sales tax is being properly collected.”

Keegan Kyle is an investigative reporter for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Paying off student loans before graduation He enjoys writing about powerful people, injustice and what the government does with your money. Student loans company online What should he write about next? Send tips to kkyle@gannett.com or reach him on Twitter @keegankyle.

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