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Old Dec 30, 2011, 01:42 AM   #1
BreakGuy
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Buying from online store in USA. Do I pay sales tax?

I like to make purchases in from businesses in the United States (specifically in New York City) by way of online purchases from these stores. I live in New Zealand and was wondering if I should be paying American Sales Tax on these purchases.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 01:49 AM   #3
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I've read the following, which I take would also apply for those in foreign nations.

Sales Tax on Internet Purchase Depends on Where the Buyer is Located

Generally speaking, if an online retailer maintains a physical presence in a state that charges a sales tax on most purchases, then that online retailer must charge sales tax on any items that are sold to customers within the home state. However, if the online retailer is selling an item to a customer outside of its home state, then it is not required to collect sales tax from that customer.

Here is an example. Suppose that Pete, who lives and works in California, likes to buy all of his cooking oils and spices for his restaurant over the internet. He normally orders from Restaurant Supplies Unlimited, a company that is headquartered and has its warehouse in Nevada. Because Pete orders his supplies for his restaurant from a vendor that is outside of California, Restaurant Supplies Unlimited does not have to charge Pete a sales tax.

However, now suppose that Restaurant Supplies Unlimited has opened a warehouse in California to better supply their regular customers there. Now, because Pete's order will be taken and shipped from California, he must be charged sales tax on his order.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 02:26 AM   #4
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Sales tax is based on where the item is shipped, not where it ships from. Use tax covers where sales tax leave off. Basically in that California example, you'd be responsible to file the use tax on these items ordered from out of state. With things like cars, it's a bit more complex, but basically you do end up paying.

If you're in New Zealand and ordering something from New York, you would not owe New York sales tax unless someone is purchasing it on your behalf in New York. You might owe something like customs when it enters New Zealand, and I don't know what your local sales tax laws are like, but you wouldn't owe sales tax in New York when you're not taking possession in New York.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 02:26 AM   #5
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The US Apple Store online won't ship to New Zealand.

The New Zealand Apple Store online will ship to New Zealand.

Are you purchasing from the US Apple Store to have a delivery sent to you while you will be in New York City? If that is the case, you will be charged New York's sales tax. But then you will probably have to pay a customs tax when you return to New Zealand. I tried looking up for you what the rate is, but New Zealand has a terribly confusing (though friendly) customs web-site.

I can't imagine any circumstance where it wouldn't be preferable to purchase from Apple's New Zealand online store.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekev View Post
Sales tax is based on where the item is shipped, not where it ships from. Use tax covers where sales tax leave off. Basically in that California example, you'd be responsible to file the use tax on these items ordered from out of state. With things like cars, it's a bit more complex, but basically you do end up paying.

If you're in New Zealand and ordering something from New York, you would not owe New York sales tax unless someone is purchasing it on your behalf in New York. You might owe something like customs when it enters New Zealand, and I don't know what your local sales tax laws are like, but you wouldn't owe sales tax in New York when you're not taking possession in New York.
I think this is the answer I'm after. I've purchased clothing before from a New York based store and never even thought about Sales Tax until someone mentioned it. I suppose I paid tax and didn't realise.

As for customs in NZ, private imports where the local tax on the item would be greater than or equal to $60, payment of that tax is required to release the item. If the tax totals under $60 it is waived and not required to be collected before the item's release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swingerofbirch View Post
The US Apple Store online won't ship to New Zealand.

The New Zealand Apple Store online will ship to New Zealand.

Are you purchasing from the US Apple Store to have a delivery sent to you while you will be in New York City? If that is the case, you will be charged New York's sales tax. But then you will probably have to pay a customs tax when you return to New Zealand. I tried looking up for you what the rate is, but New Zealand has a terribly confusing (though friendly) customs web-site.

I can't imagine any circumstance where it wouldn't be preferable to purchase from Apple's New Zealand online store.
I'm not talking about the Apple Store. I'm talking small retailers not located in New Zealand, rather the USA. But I thank you for your efforts
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 02:36 AM   #7
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Typically sales taxes in the us are levied against merchants who make sales within the state. If you're ordering from an online store, that sale should not be within the state of New York, so it shouldn't be subject to the state's sales tax.

However, you will be responsible for New Zealand's import duties or use taxes because even though New Zealand can't charge you the New York sales tax, it can still charge you a use tax if one exists.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 02:47 AM   #8
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So when I make a purchase am I safe to ask for it tax free?
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 04:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BreakGuy View Post
So when I make a purchase am I safe to ask for it tax free?
Based on your shipping address.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 08:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BreakGuy View Post
So when I make a purchase am I safe to ask for it tax free?
If the company you are buying from does not have a presence in your state. You are still required to pay a tax. In Massachusetts its called a use tax.

So if I buy a MacBook Pro from Amazon, I'll not have the sales tax added on but the state requires that I record the tax on my state taxes when I do them
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 08:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
If the company you are buying from does not have a presence in your state. You are still required to pay a tax. In Massachusetts its called a use tax.

So if I buy a MacBook Pro from Amazon, I'll not have the sales tax added on but the state requires that I record the tax on my state taxes when I do them
I'm not in another state - rather another nation, in another hemisphere. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm not buying Apple items... just items from retailers that I cannot get here in New Zealand.

It doesn't make sense that I'd be paying American taxes on items that I purchased outside of the United States, especially because when purchasing online there is no defined location of transaction.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 08:14 AM   #12
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I'm not in another state - rather another nation, in another hemisphere. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm not buying Apple items... just items from retailers that I cannot get here in New Zealand.

It doesn't make sense that I'd be paying American taxes on items that I purchased outside of the United States, especially because when purchasing online there is no defined location of transaction.
Sorry I missed that, well then if you specify a US shipping address you will probably incur sales tax if you buy from apple. As stated you cannot buy from the US apple store and have it shipped to NZ. The only way to get it from the apple store is to use a US shipping address (and I think a US based credit card) and then you are liable to pay taxes on it.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 08:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Sorry I missed that, well then if you specify a US shipping address you will probably incur sales tax if you buy from apple. As stated you cannot buy from the US apple store and have it shipped to NZ. The only way to get it from the apple store is to use a US shipping address (and I think a US based credit card) and then you are liable to pay taxes on it.
Yeah forget Apple altogether. I'm talking about items such as clothing that cannot be bought here in New Zealand. There are some items I can only get from the United States and have shipped to New Zealand and in this case was wondering if sales tax is applicable to me as I'm purchasing from overseas and having it delivered to an overseas location.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 09:09 AM   #14
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There should be no sales tax, however you could wind up paying a NZ import duty based on the value that the seller declares on the customs label.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreakGuy View Post
I like to make purchases in from businesses in the United States (specifically in New York City) by way of online purchases from these stores. I live in New Zealand and was wondering if I should be paying American Sales Tax on these purchases.
I have never been charged sales tax when buying from the US and having the items shipped to the UK. I have however had to pay various taxes upon arrival in the UK
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Old Jan 1, 2012, 03:37 AM   #16
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I have been buying items online from stores in Australia and having them shipped to the USA for the last 10 years and I NEVER pay ANY sales tax. So I am thinking you would NOT have to pay sales tax when buying items from US online stores and having them shipped to New Zealand.
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