B&H Responds To NY State Lawsuit, Calls Attorney General ‘Flat Wrong’ Says ‘Won’t Be Bullied’

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NEW YORK (VINnews) — B&H has issued a statement in response to the announcement by AG Letitia James of a NYS lawsuit against them.

The statement sent out to their staff reads as follows:

Dear B&H Employee,

Today the NY Attorney General filed suit against B&H claiming that we should have collected sales tax from customers on instant savings discounts. We obviously believe these claims are without merit, especially since the entire consumer electronics retail industry takes the identical approach that we do. B&H will fight these allegations aggressively. It’s unbelievable to me that the Attorney General has singled out B&H and is misleading the public about our company, while ignoring the identical practices from much larger competitors.

We issued the following statement to the press:

“The Attorney General is flat wrong – and is trying to create a tax on discounts in order to make New Yorkers pay more. B&H is not a big box store or a faceless chain; we are a New York institution, having operated here for nearly 50 years with a stellar reputation. The tax department has done countless audits and never once – not a single time – mentioned this widespread industry practice.

“B&H has done nothing wrong and it is outrageous that the AG has decided to sue a New York company that employs thousands of New Yorkers while leaving the national online and retail behemoths unchallenged. The Attorney General wants to charge New Yorkers a tax on money they never spent. It’s wrong and we won’t be bullied.”

We regularly offer customers instant savings discounts. This is an industry wide practice. On a camera that regularly sells for $1,000 that has an instant savings offer of $200, the net selling price is $800 and we collect and remit sales tax on the $800. The Attorney General is claiming that we should collect tax based on the $1,000 and thus have underpaid sales tax for 13 years. Common sense, legal precedent, and years of sales tax audits approving our practice say we have done everything right.

I want each of you to know that B&H acts with the highest standards of integrity in everything we do, and I find this action offensive and very disappointing. I look forward to having our day in court to defend ourselves and our customers against these absurd allegations.

If you have any questions or receive any outside inquiries, please direct them to Jeff Gerstel or David Eisenberg.

Let’s make sure we commit 100% of our energy to serving our customers, as we always do, and exceeding their expectations every day. Please do not allow this frivolous lawsuit to create any distraction from our mission of treating our customers right.

Thank you,

Menashe Horowitz

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50 COMMENTS

    • Its part of a broader liberal atatck. Ayingle won’t understand this. But a muture person will. The liberal are mad at B&H bec they know its a successful honest company yet still stands strong to our beliefs and mesora. Males and females sit separately at the corporate office. Women who are normally much well suited to be at home or work part time are not hired as its senior leaders. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why is productivity measured by how many cameras you can sell verse how you can run a yiddisha shtib? I think the latter is more important and of greater essence. Now try putting me in charge of running my home. My wife come home after a baby and I watched the kids for two days. the house is tipsy turvy and upside down. I can’t make a shabbos for the life of me. When I dress my kids they go to school looking homeless.

      It irkes them that a large corporation can hire uneducated non college graduates as employees and succeed so well. like hey we wasted 4 year in college and these guys come and just work and produce.? Can’t be that college is a fat hoax.
      Latisha James knows this. It bothers liberals the women can’t come in dressed down in half clad cloths untznduik and demand senior positions. This her and the liberal way of getting back at chasdim committed to religious beliefs.

      • Every yingele understand this. In fact this is one of your honest Educated post in a long time. The question is : What is the solution.(Not a single sentece on your post on the solution) Ranting about the NY liberals, raising their taxes as Trump did will not solve anything. Just the opposite. Historically All NY frumme voted Democrats. Even Dov hikind is a Democrat. So is every single NY frumme elected politician. You give and you get. You deliver the vote and get……. Its done for a long time now. Until Trump (the new Idol) came along. Most orthodox decided openly to vote for him. Yourself bragged right here on vin that most orthodox voted for Trump. Trump brought out more liberal votes in NYC than Hillary or Obama ever did. You got what you voted for. AOC and the entire NYS Government in liberal hands. A first in 50 years. Its not a secret that Trump rewards his voters:farmers,steel workers, miners etc and tries to silence (investigate his adversarys. I expect the Liberal NY Elected Officials will do the same. Just a few days ago the Frumme had a HUGE fundraiser for Trump. We got their response in no time.

        • You are a real wierdo and think so crooked . So we shouldn’t vote because we will then anger the other side . The reason not to vote for trump is bec then we will anger dems even though we believe trump is great for us ?
          What would be if we voted hillary and the republicans were in ny ? Then they would turn against us .
          You are soo crooked and just wierd . Of course you vote for who you think best serves you .

          Again you bring up stupidity like hikind a democrat. Believe me hikind would be a republican if NYC had infrastructure for it . We simply had no infrastructure for republicans. Why do you think felder is a democrat who caucuses with republicans?

          Can you please stop lying about trump tax cuts . You are dumb and the numbers prove you wrong . I told you already the only losers were a few middle class Jews over 50 with no kids under 18. The Math is on my side . I dare you to show me the total numbers pre tax vs post tax cut for a 40 yr old in NYC with 4 kids earning 150k. Come in bring it on . You can’t bec you don’t know math . It’s easier to lie

      • Uneducated Archie , you might not have the skills to run a home , but women have proven again and again that they can be successful at anything they chose to do . Discrimination is illegal , and this company relies on the good will and submissiveness of its female employees not to sue .

        • Are you done spamming yet nachum ? When will you grow up Judith ?

          Point is many Frum Torah Jews believe women don’t Belong in high executive office jobs . And it’s not a belief based on mysognism. It’s based on the obvious facts that your dumb pc stupid liberals won’t admit . Men and women were not created equal period . We have different traits and think differently. We are not the same . These are facts not opinions . Besides according to our Torah there is a tznuis issue where we believe less metoo crimes occur if men and women are segregated . Now women who have kids physically can’t produce . If they need to take off from work to have the baby and raise them it’s also not possible to produce like a man . Add all these things up and the practicality is just we are different and serve different roles . I don’t find it rewarding to work in corporate America or anywhere really . I don’t think it’s a superiority bec men work are more equipped to work and women to run a house . I admire my wife and think she is doing more to make a difference and impact others than I do . I wish the roles where reveresed and I can do something meaningful with it days like her .

          These are the facts . And it’s the fundamentals of yiddishkait and our mesora. I will not let you highjack the subject with your stupid pc nonsense . And litsha James is jealous and mad about our mesora

          • Hey, Arch, I am the real Nachum, and I don’t spam, and did NOT right the article that you are complaining about. Stop demeaning my good name, every time someone puts you in your place, and you decide to have a temper tantrum.

  1. The AG is corrupt she ran on taking down the President by investigating to look for a crime just like the Soviets, she probably going after B&H because they are frum Jews and frum Jews support Trump.

    • Maybe you are right. Just look around Trump. Cohen, Manifort, and so many others. If she wants to find criminals just look around Trump supporters. How did Nixon say it? F the Jews they vote Democrats. Now the Democrats can say F the Orthodox, they vote Trump. Maybe next time you go to vote remember what you have just said. “she is going after frumm Jews because of Trump..” Or just move to Louisiana where Trump is in controll and they will go after Liberals.

  2. If you read the complaint, the allegations are that B&H di not pay tax on the rebates that manufacturers provided B&H. Hence, If B&H sold a $ 1000.00 camera for $800 but the manufacturer gave a $200 rebate then B&H received $1000.00; $800 from the customer and $200 from the manufacturer. B&H did not reduce the price to $800.00. The payment stream was just split between the purchaser and the manufacturer. B&H received a $1000.00 in income They were supposed to pay the sales tax on $1000.00 not $800.00. New York State is very aggressive when it comes to sales tax. This is not a liberal or conservative this was a business decision to increase profits. Please let’s not bring out the anti-semitism claim until more is known.
    .

    • Theres no reason the consumer should have to pay inflated sales tax in that scenario. If you want to complain that B and H didnt pay *INCOME* tax on that money, then thats another scenario altogether

      • SOMEONE needs to pay tax on a purchase of $1,000.

        Imagine if BH sold a $1,000 camera for $300, to Jim, and I pay BH the other $700. Does that mean New York State is not entitled to tax on the whole price of $1,000?

        I mean, let’s get serious here.

          • No. The seller must pay the sales tax. The seller is permitted to collect the sales tax from the consumer but is not required to collect it, only required to pay it.

            However in the case of manufacturer-to-retailer rebates like the case here, if the consumer is not made aware that the discount is due to a manufacturer’s rebate then the seller may not collect sales tax on the rebate amount but they must still pay the tax. If the consumer is made aware (e.g., via the term “manufacturer’s rebate” or “instant rebate”) then the seller is permitted to collect the sales tax on the rebate amount from the consumer. But in any case the seller is required to remit the tax to the state and city.

    • Wrong the facts don’t matter . Stop it with your failing nyt or lying npr catchy stupid lines .

      Facts don’t matter . The story matters . You can always find a minor fact that sums to a gottcha

    • She is unfortunately an antisemite. Most people are aware of this sad fact. I don’t know whether she’s right or wrong from the legal standpoint of. That however doesn’t change who the AG is one iota!

  3. what about Amazon and all others that give discounts to people? are they required to pay tax on the discount dollars that no one got? sounds like an invention of another Latita Bitcoin ??????

  4. “What about Amazon” Its up to the DA who to go after. Republicans investigate Hillary, Democrats investigate Trump. This is how it works. Millions in NY brake the Law a single day. Drive over the speed limit (dont report full income etc) you can prosecute so much, maybe 1 %. Amazon is good to the Liberals (He owns Washington Post) Orthodox Jews are no longer vote for Dems. Just a few days ago they had a fundraiser for Trump. Helllllo??

    • Millions in NY brake the Law a single day. Drive over the speed limit

      And guess what you dumb little yingel. If you racial rpofile as in Furgeson MS and only pull over blacks in loud sports cars its illegal in this country. You are the guy thats always about the law. Thats what you hock achink about. Well you can’t go after someone based on ethncity. Ask the shvartzas.

  5. Trump singled out Sanctuary Cities like NY for eliminating SALT tax deduction. They will get the money from wherever they can. This is only the beginning. Wait for the RE Tax increases. A Brooklyn house is worth avg 1.5 million . Taxes? maybe 10-15.000 or Under 1% All around the USA RE Tax Avg 2-3% So get ready to a 200-300 % increase in your Real Estate Tax Bill in a few years. The net result will be a huge HUGE reduction of home values in NYC. In fact it already started under Trump in the last 3 years. It will accelerate fast.

  6. This is the law:

    Manufacturers’ rebates
    Manufacturers’ rebates (e.g., a rebate on the purchase of a car or an appliance) are not deductible from the amount of the taxable receipt. This is so whether the rebate is assigned to or paid to the seller at the time of sale, or later paid directly to the purchaser by the manufacturer. Even though the purchaser’s out-of-pocket expense is reduced by the amount of the rebate, the price paid to the seller is not. In effect, the manufacturer is subsidizing the consumer’s purchase, and the full sales price is subject to sales tax.

    The A.G. is clearly using B&H as the first step to a wider collection effort for all cameras since they never go on sale, they just have “instant rebates”.

    • If the owners of B&H were illegal aliens then she would never have filed a lawsuit against them since she is personally representing and defending illegal aliens who violate all sorts of laws despite her claiming that no one is above the law. She is an racist anti-semite, plain and simple.

    • Wrong she hates the jewish consevative agenda based on our mesora. She has a thing to get us.

      Judith or whatever else your fake screen names is like Pualin you are lying.

  7. But when other people broke the law by selling stuff in the subways and they got arrested everybody says “they haven’t harmed anyone” Do they pay the sales tax on what they sell?

  8. The rebate should be considered as reducing the cost of goods sold for the camera already in inventory at a higher price. Its semantics to say its a rebate. What if the manufacturer just decided to lower the price, what will the AG try to collect then? NY is collectively trying to drive a great company out of business. There is only so much litigation and settlement nonsense they can take. Its a tough business to be in without the constant shake downs.

    • It’s not semantics. These instant rebates are dictated by the manufacturer. It’s a manufacturer sale and not a B&H sale, which is why when B&H has Instant rebates, every other authorized dealer will have the same rebates.

  9. Anon, I get that its manufacturer driven and usually is the same sale at multiple retailers. The end result is that B&H gets the rebates for the period when the sale is in effect and that reduces the cost of the item, essentially that savings is passed on to the consumer. If NY succeeds here, manufacturers and retailers will find a work around. It is not fair to ask a consumer to pay tax on the msrp price if that’s not what they paid. It’s also not fair to ask the retailer to pay that tax when for a limited period of time, the manufacturer decided to lower the market price and increase sales. Instant rebates are a marketing gimmick even if money is obtained from the manufacturer by the retailer corresponding to that “rebate”. They will just process a sales bonus instead or some other legal manuver. The only people this lawsuit helps are the lawyers, certainly not tax payers. Let these people work on their business, they do a great job. They drove the B&H warehouse out of NY, prevented Amazon from coming, how many more jobs do they want NYers to lose? What crazy person would open a business with these crazy politicians in charge?

  10. You all realize that the AG doesn’t go out and find cases, right? That some higher up like someone in the governor’s office hands her the case to investigate and prosecute? So quick to call her names, when she’s only doing the job that was given to her. The AG is the state’s attorney. Cases are handed to that office.

    The act is probably technically illegally but it’s been done so much, that it’s probably become industry practice. But then someone realized there is available money for the government that isn’t being collected. Saying everyone does it won’t help. This is probably being set up to be a test case to set the example, so the government can go after bigger businesses. This may have even come as a federal directive to find a case to try to establish the proper law, and what better place to start than New York?

    • I don’t think you are correct. The AG has an agenda like everyone else. You think she doesn’t instruct her employees to find cases against Trump? I wouldn’t be suprised if she instructed someone to go after B&H. I don’t buy your torah

  11. This is pure anti capitalist garbage. Plus targeting a frum company gives it added “street cred” for these business hating leftists that never created anything of value in their lives. Leftist bureaucrat aparatchniks of the capitalist hating city of NY. How much can people take before all the wealth creators leave and the city is left to the parasitic class. President Trump left for good reason. To save millions on taxes by moving to florida

    • Well said. And its not just about targeting a “frum business”. Its about targeting rich frum jews who still hold deal conservative values and don’t give in one iota to the liberal agenda in areas of tznuis among others. They are even successful without college degrees. This irkes them to no end.

  12. I have paid sales tax on the original (pre-discounted) price on items I’ve purchased online elsewhere. This is something that is sometimes noted and sometimes not but the letter of the law appears to be that sales tax on the pre-discounted price is required. Specifically if the customer is not informed prior to sale that the discount is a manufacturer-funded rebate then the store is required to pay the sales tax; otherwise they may collect the tax from the customer or pay it themselves – that’s up to the store.

    But the problem is that sales tax is a regressive tax. A poor person must pay the same sales tax on an item as an ultra rich person. A better way of raising tax dollars would be to increase progressive taxes – personal and corporate income tax, real estate tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, and “luxury” tax. Unfortunately such taxes has been fought tooth and nail by the “one percent” and those who mistakenly consider themselves in that class, so we are left with the regressive sales tax. Money has to be raised to pay for the things that we (most of us) want, like a well-trained and well-equipped police, fire, ambulance forces; good schools for our (and our neighbors’) children; medical care for those who can’t afford to die for lack of treatment; and even the cost of holding free elections so that our better impulses can be made real in this society.

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