American Sales TAX

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by acearchie, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    For the summer I am spending 3 days in the US before I catch my flight on to australia, I would like to plan the buying of my laptop well in advance so:-

    1. I am flying to New York and then driving down to LA to get my plane to Sydney and I was wondering where is the cheapest state/place to stop off on route to get my mac from!

  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Several states have no sales tax, I'm sure you can find which ones by googling.

    Just a word of warning, trying to import products into your country without paying the required Duty on them is illegal, and bad things could happen to you if you get caught.
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon don't charge state sales tax, although individual counties can.
  5. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Can tourists get rebates on GST when they leave the country?
  6. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    3 days - Flying into New York - and out of LA - as in, Los Angles, CA???


    Please tell me that isn't the case - that LA means something else. Because you won't have TIME to stop and shop for a laptop.
  7. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    From NYC to LA is 72 hours of Driving.

    EDIT: Thats how long it takes the old FedEx truck driving teams. They would switch shifts and it would be continous driving.

    EDIT: According to google maps its about 41 hours. Not sure why I thought it was 72.
  8. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    #8 might want to re-think this plan. 5 days would be a little more realistic. A week would be better; you'd actually be able to appreciate things, and do some extra stuff like buy a laptop. The U.S. is not a small country. ;) (Sounds like you might have gotten distances in miles and were thinking km, or something.)

  9. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Or perhaps by saying "driving down to LA", LA actually means Louisiana. We can only hope, eh?
  10. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Not many flights to Sydney out of New Orleans (assuming nonstop, of course)...

    That said, New York City to Los Angeles is about 40 hours of driving.
  11. eyedoc_00 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2005
    3 days from New York to LA? I drove from Norfolk, Virginia to the LA area 5 years ago. I did it in 3 1/2 days. I was moving to CA and had 5 days before I started a new job. I was driving all day until I could not take it anymore and had to stop for the night. Good luck ith your trip.
  12. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    If you don't want to get hit with tax when you return to your home country, just make it seem old. Dump the box (a sin, I know), load up photos into iPhoto, load your email, transfer documents, etc. Also, mail home the receipts (don't keep them on you).

    New Hampshire has no sales tax anywhere, and does have a real Apple Retail Store in Salem, but it is a bit out of your way if you're driving to LA (Louisiana or Los Angeles).
  13. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    oh god you have got me all worried! I will have to check my papers from the travel agents! I swear they said they gave me 3 days to drive to Los Angeles from New York they said I would have ample time! Obviously not!

    So is New Hampshire my best bet?

  14. TraceyS/FL macrumors 601

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    New Hampshire isn't on the way to Los Angeles. It's North of NY, add a day for a side trip there.

    Um, are you driving ALONE or will you have someone else to drive?

    With 3 days you are going to need to DRIVE and not stop and sight-see, and drive a lot in the day.

    We moved from the Southern Cal area to Florida and can make it back west with kids and driving 9am-10pm in about 3.5 days. We don't feel like we are pushing ourselves. A HUGE chunk of that is driving thru Texas and well, in places there isn't anything out there! says for JFK to LAX
    Total Est. Time: 42 hours, 2 minutes
    Total Est. Distance: 2816.54 miles

    Zooming out on the map there - it looks like it's about the same distance as driving all the way across Australia side to side.

    Do check on this more...... if you want maybe you could call a mail order place and do a "hold at station" delivery and then you won't pay sales tax that way.
  15. devman macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Oh, its not that bad. You'll just have to pay the duty - and even then they are very lenient.

    Years ago I was working and living in Singapore. Just before I did a home visit to Australia, I bought a new PC for my father. As it was two big boxes (CPU and the monitor) I was sent to the "red lane."

    They asked me about the PC and I said I'd bought in Singapore but had been using it for over a year (which means no import duties levied). They looked at the box and said "it doesn't look old - it looks in good condition." To which I replied, well its just the box. I mean you take it out the box once only, then I just boxed it up again for this trip home.

    They were thinking about that when one of the supervisors came over - she had been watching what was going on. Straight away she told them to open the monitor box. I didn't know what they would find but I could tell from the approach that they knew something I didn't.

    Sure enough, they took the monitor out, she flipped it around and looked straight at a little plate on the back of it. Amongst other details was a date which was only a month or two ago (I can't remember now).

    They read out the date and then looked at me. Without even hesitating I replied "well you know I was having trouble with the monitor and took it in for repair. They must have given me a new one."

    They didn't buy it. They simply calculated the duty applicable, and then asked me to pay about 2/3 of it. And off I went.
  16. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Are you an Aussie?

    Driving from NY to LA is like driving from Cairns to Perth - Australia is the same size as the 48 contiguous states of the US. It's a bloody long way to go in three days - you can't drive even from Sydney to Perth in 3 days and that's a shorter trip.

    I'd spend one day getting to a tax-free state, buy the Mac and get back to your hotel in NY. One day getting it loaded with pictures and music etc and one day for a flight from NY to LA.

    Get rid of the boxes and take the laptop in your carry on luggage so it looks like you came into the country with it. The if they ask to look at it you can turn it on and it looks like it's been used.

    But you're going to have to floor it to get from New York to LA in such a short time.
  17. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    In America this would be a law suit for horrible travel planning.
  18. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    If you had more time I would say that driving to New Hampshire would be a very nice trip. As it is you are going to be in that car a lot longer than you want. The Great Plains are so flat that you will think you are "almost there" 2 days before you actually reach the mountains. Is it really worth so much stress just to save some tax? Remember to deduct the cost of food and fuel from whatever you will save by not buying in NYC.

    I did that trip once in 3.5 days, spending 14 hours a day in travel time. I wouldn't do it again. Good luck.
  19. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
  20. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    That drive will suck. At least you aren't going to take interstate 10 across Texas, are you? I did that drive a couple times, if I was by myself I would have gone nutty.

    Also, if you can time it right, you could stop at the Grand Canyon, cost you half a day but very worth it.

    You might also check to see if there are any states that have fairly low tax, NY to NH or NY to Delaware are sucky drives.

    When you calculate how much you are thinking you will save add gas, lodging, food, and TOLLS (Delaware will get you!).
  21. MacSyn macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2006
    Go to NJ to get it, some counties/townships in NJ have fairly low sales tax rate. It saves your time and pay less sales tax.
  22. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Almost certain the answer is no; some countries with a nationwide sales tax (Japan is the only one I know of specifically, but that's the only one I've been to) will let you do that, but I've never heard of a state allowing that.

    Now, there's sort of a funky loophole in US law that essentially works out to if you're buying an item over the internet from a state where the retailer has no presence (for example ordering a CD from a store in New York when you live in California), then you don't need to pay tax--this ironically often makes it cheaper to buy over the internet from out-of-state businesses (rather counterproductive, if you ask me).

    At least in CA (my state) you're technically required to pay the tax on anything you bought out of state (there's a section on the income tax forms for it), but I'd bet money essentially no individuals actually do.
  23. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    Louisiana does that and I think they might be the only. But you have to be flying out of an airport there and they don't have any Apple stores.
  24. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Australia does the same thing (for products over $300, if I recall correctly), and I'm fairly sure that NZ does too. I (and apparently iWoot) assumed that it was standard practice.
  25. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    you are driving from New York to Los Angeles in 3 days? that is impossible (well, unless you drive like 20 hrs a day)

    Hawaii has 4% of sales tax, not that you'll pass that from NY to LA, you wont pass Alaska either... the other ones if you want to pass them it most certainly will take 5 days minimum.

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