Taxes in the US

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FrenchPB, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I have a general question about taxes. WIll the price I can see in the online apple store be the same as what I will have to pay in a real store, or will I have to pay taxes?

    If so it makes the price not as interesting for me as I'm going back to France at the end of next week.

    I read also in an other thread something about the federal tax holiday this weekend.

    Does that mean I can buy a MacBook this weekend in an apple store in Georgia and not pay any tax, then if I don't open the box, I can return it in case something about the MacBook is unveiled at WWDC ?

    Are those assumptions true ?
     
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #2
    I think you'll have to pay taxes on the online store as well - not just in the retail stores.

    Yes, but only if you do not open the box.
     
  3. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #3
    I think Georgia's tax holiday only applies for purchases less than $1500, so you'd have to buy a stock MacBook (and not a Pro) to save the tax. Also, if you return it, you'll get only what you paid back--meaning if you buy something announced at WWDC, you'll have to pay sales tax on that purchase. The no-tax-holiday will not extend to your second computer purchase.

    Additionally, the EU may collect taxes and/or duties on your American purchase when you return to France. I've never brought a computer across, but many declared goods are subject to use tax going in/out of Europe.
     
  4. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Wow, I can't believe, that's great then! I will get a BlackBook + iPod Nano this weekend in a store in Georgia, and I won't have to pay tax. I will aslo get the student rebate and free nano... seems too good to be true!
     
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #5
    Sorry...I haven't followed any other threads you may have posted on this topic, but unless you're a student at a US university, you almost certainly won't be able to get the educational discount/free iPod here in the states.
     
  6. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #6
    Well, not quite. You will have to pay tax on the nano, which will not be refunded. Also, does France have the free nano promotion? If it doesn't, you'd have to be a student at an American university to qualify for the rebate, because only students studying at North American universities can take part in the deal.
     
  7. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I'm a MBA student at USC, so I do qualify even though I'm French. And why would I have to pay tax on the nano if it's a no tax weekend ?
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #8
    Okay...as long as you have the student ID from an American university (and it's still valid), you should be fine.

    According to this PDF, MP3 players are taxable. I'm not sure how it all works out with the promotion though.
     
  9. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I have my student ID card, but there's no year on it except that I am a Master student. Will I have to bring more proof of that?

    And if I buy my Blackbook this weekend, keep the box closed, and then decide to exchange it for the hypotethical new version of MB unveiled at WWDC, will I have to pay taxes then?
     
  10. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #10
    The ID itself will be fine...there is a chance they could try to verify your status by checking with the school, but the chances of that are very low. You didn't say whether you are actually still enrolled or not, so apply the above information to your situation as appropriate. :)

    You will almost certainly have to pay tax if you exchange for something else. You are in effect returning the original item and will receive the cash you paid back. Then you're buying something new outside of the tax holiday, so tax will be charged. (The exchange process eliminates some of the middle steps, but you are still purchasing a new item after the holiday has ended.)
     
  11. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    #11
    Yepp.
     
  12. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    But then if I return to France, I can get it back at the airport :p

    I am just a poor college student trying to save wherever I can :D
     
  13. iHotu macrumors regular

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    #13
    Why don't you just buy from Amazon.com, they will not charge sales tax, plus have $100 rebates on macbooks.

    You still must follow your own states tax laws on this purchase, and declare it when filing your state income tax form at the end of the year. ;)
     
  14. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Because Amazon won't take my student discount, because i need to buy from Apple to get the nano rebate...

    I'm a French citizen and since I'm staying in the US for only a semester, I won't have to fill those tax forms...

    in the end... I save a lot :)
     
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #15
    Only if you pay by credit/debit card, since these are "public" transactions that the state can sift without a court order to look for tax cheats. California is working on perfecting this method of revenue collection.

    However, paying via an actual paper check is a backdoor method around this -- since it requires a court order to find the cheating.

    Edit: aka, the door is going to close quick on that method of tax evasion. Remember it took down a billionaire and his company in New York.
     
  16. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #16
    1) Even if you pay by a check you are still required to declare it. Just because they have an even smaller chance of finding out doesn't mean it's ok not to do it.

    More importantly...

    2) Are you really suggesting that someone attempt to buy from Amazon.com with a check? I don't think that's physically possible. :confused:
     
  17. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #17
    FYI, you can pay by check at Amazon. But not for computer purchases. :cool:
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #18
    California was the state that is checking credit cards, and they were the ones that noted that they cannot track out-of-state purchases used to defeat CA state sales tax using a check.

    If you plan on not reporting it, then a check is the best chance of not getting caught -- using a credit card and not reporting it is increasingly chancy these days.

    Of course, finding somebody that will take a personal check isn't easy.
     
  19. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #19
    Here in Texas sales tax is 8.5% which is a real pain if you want to buy a car or something expensive. Just buy online and you can skip taxes hahaha.
     
  20. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #20
    Because the Georgia tax free weekend is a back-to-school event. Energy Star appliances, clothes, school supplies, and computers under $1500 are the things that are tax-free. Other purchases (including mp3 players) are still taxable...unless I'm getting Georgia confused with somewhere else having a tax-free weekend this week.
     
  21. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #21
    Wow. I had no clue. But I guess since you can't use it on computers I still have the moral highground. :p

    Try living in Memphis - 9.25%
    I'm sure some other people have it worse, but not by much. :(
     
  22. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #22
    Ahaha that sucks even more. Anyone out there have 10% sales tax?
     
  23. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #23
    I think there are some areas of Tennessee that are pushing 12% once you include state, county, and city taxes. I think parts of Louisiana are also over 10%.
     
  24. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #24
    We have a 10% GST but that replaced a bunch of other taxes so prices basically stayed the same on most things. It's a federal tax, we don't have varying state sales taxes on things here, everyone pays the same.

    It's also legislated that the GST must be included in the advertised price. The price you see in the ad or on the sticker is the price you pay. None of this grabbing some items in a supermarket that add up to the money in your wallet and then being slugged an extra 7 or 8% at the cash register malarkey. That's just stupid if you ask me. Apple should have a "Which State?" screen before you enter the store so that you can see exactly how much you'll be paying for your products.
     
  25. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #25
    The worst part is that the people in charge keep bumping this stuff up (Memphis sales tax was 8.75% not too long ago) and still can't manage their budgets. And our roads are only so-so. And our school are just horrible. I really don't know what they're doing with the money. :(
     

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