What to do if bought a car 13 months ago and just now got a call from the salesman telling me that they “forgot” to charge me sales tax?

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2014

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What to do if bought a car 13 months ago and just now got a call from the salesman telling me that they “forgot” to charge me sales tax?

I paid cash if full for it. The salesman is telling me that I must pay the tax amount of $2778.66 right away. He is telling me that a suspension would be put on my license plates and other threats if I do not pay them this week. All the title and license fees have been paid though. Is this really my fault and would I be in trouble with the state for this mistake on their part?

Asked on January 21, 2014 under Business Law, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You first inform the dealership owner of this salesperson and make him or her understand that any errors in a contract for a cash sale were the dealer's fault and not yours. By the dealership accepting full cash price for said vehicle, it accepted it as full satisfaction for the sale of the vehicle. As to additional efforts, immediately contact the city attorney or county attorney and file a complaint. If this dealership is regulated by any agency in your state, file a complaint with the agency (probably DMV).

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