Question: I have collected social security by direct deposit for years. This month, on my bank statement, instead of saying “Social Security Administration”, it says “Federal Benefit Credit”. The amount is the same, but I am worried that my account information is wrong or that I am receiving benefits from someone else or that this may affect my ability to withdraw this money.
– NC, South Euclid
A: There is no problem with the Social Security Administration, spokesman Brandon Smith said. He checked with Social Security and the US Treasury.
âIt appears to be a change in banking terminology and not a change created by the SSA or the Treasury,â Smith said.
Since you are doing business with US Bank, I asked the spokesperson for that company to verify why this bank has changed the way Social Security deposits are credited to customer accounts. In the meantime, has anyone else noticed a change in the wording of Social Security deposits? I suspect that the customers of the American bank are not alone in this case.
Question: You’ve written in the past about sales tax charged on purchases when a coupon is involved. You said if a store or restaurant offers their own coupon, then under state law sales tax should be charged on the amount after the rebate, not the full amount.
I started doing coupons a few years ago and save almost all of my receipts. (Because of the discount offers, not that I’m a hoarder.) Well, because of your last column, I went through several of my receipts, read the revised Ohio code, and found that one of the major drugstore chains did not charge the correct tax on the store coupon it provided. I emailed them this spring using a receipt as an example with a breakdown of how the coupons were used. Long story short: they admitted they were wrong with the way they billed tax and said they were going to fix the problem and let me know how to reimburse me for any tax billed.
Yesterday they said I was going to get a check for $ 1 to compensate for the 6 cents too much on the sample receipt I sent them. I also believe that a second store where I shop has done the same. I was going to contact a lawyer to see if this is something that can involve a class action lawsuit.
– LL, Bedford
A: You’re right about how coupons, discounts, and rebates work in Ohio: if the coupon is from an outside source – like a manufacturer in the case of a coupon in a store – then sales tax is calculated on the total amount because the report considers this to be an after-sale discount. The store will be reimbursed for the manufacturer’s coupon.
But if it is a store coupon, the tax is calculated on the amount after the discount. This is because the state considers this to be a price adjustment, which means that the store’s price charged to you has changed. Therefore, the sales tax should change.
I suspect this is a bigger problem than many realize. How many people are going to get into this kind of thing for more than 6 cents, or 80 cents, or whatever? Not a lot.
I’m going to throw this out: who else has had overtax issues while using a coupon?