Bought iPhone 5s in store and noticed something odd on the bill...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Keeky, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Keeky macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013
    Maybe someone can help me figure this out because I feel like I am going a bit crazy...

    I was looking over my receipt from launch day and noticed that for a 32gb iphone 5s for $299 I was charged 59.62 in taxes (at a tax rate of 8%).

    Am I crazy or shouldn't the tax be closer to $24? We bought three phones, all in separate transactions and noticed the tax at $59.92 on all of the bills.

    In addition, today (before I looked at the receipts) I went to exchange my phone for a 64gb and noticed they only credited me the $299 for the phone I was exchanging and not the tax I paid on it.

    What is going on here? If someone could explain to me what I am missing I would really appreciate it cause I feel a little nuts at the moment.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    In some states you pay tax on the unsubsidized total, which is $450 higher than the advertised price.
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Are you in CA? If so, they charge tax on the full price of phone, not the subsidized

    To the second part, the tax should be credited back as well so that is odd
  4. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Rhode Island and [I think] Massachusetts do this. It sucks :(
  5. Keeky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013
    Geez. Yeah I am new to CA, had no idea :( what a bunch of BS.

    But yeah, they didn't credit me the tax on my exchange so no idea what is going on there. :(
  6. 628 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2009
    Just go to walmart to buy your phone.. That is what I did. In California.

    I waited in line at apple in the morning >.> got the phone for $260.

    I went to walmart at 3pm they had a few $205 out the door.

    Then I went to the apple store today and returned the $260 phone..

    I had to use another line for the upgrade.
  7. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    How much did you pay for tax in the exchange. Maybe it's discounted there.
  8. Rajani Isa macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

    Jun 8, 2010
    Rogue Valley, Oregon
    If you live in Northern CA (and I mean the actual Northern California, not the "Sacramento is Northern CA" ********) some people find it cheaper to try hopping up to Ashland/Medford area in Southern Oregon to avoid the tax.

    As it is, I have a friend with a hot-tub franchise that has people in Vancouver, WA. area that occasionally try to buy from him (He's also in the Medford area) to avoid the tax. Unfortunately, he'd rather not risk losing his dealership.
  9. Keeky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2013
    I paid $67.92, so they didn't credit it there either.

    I am just shocked that in CA they tax the phones this way lol. Oh well at least the weather is nice :p
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    And I'm sure everyone in Eureka is meticulous when they file their use tax forms the next year. :D

    Seriously, it must be nice living in/near Oregon, New Hampshire, or the other states that don't have sales tax. It's 9.25% here in Chicago, although I think it's just on the subsidized price (no help to me, since I always buy unlocked).


    If not for the weather few would live in California. Sales tax = high. Income tax = 2nd highest in the country. Business climate = 49th worst in the country.

    If it makes you feel any better, I paid 9.25% sales tax. Since I bought an unlocked model, I paid full price.
  11. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    9.5% in Seattle :/
  12. Rajani Isa macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

    Jun 8, 2010
    Rogue Valley, Oregon
    As a turnaround - Washington is apparently considering doing away with my tax-exempt status when I visit! They'd make Oregonians and other out-of-state visitors from no-sales-tax states fill out paperwork to collect their taxes back vs. not being charged them (upon showing ID) in the first place.
  13. veedubshafer macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2012
    That really stinks! So if you buy a $40,000 car for $32,000 in California do they tax on the full amount as well?
  14. blhoward2 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2012
    No, that is called a purchase price adjustment. The difference here is, Apple isn't lowering the price. AT&T is just paying part of it on your behalf and that is considered income in many states.
  15. thatdrewguy macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2009
    The thing is if you buy a $40,000 car and trade in a $30,000 car in some states all you have to pay in tax is the difference of $10,000 but not in California, you still have to pay the full $40,000 in taxes.
  16. veedubshafer macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2012
    Wow! Yeah I'm glad I live in PA. Here you only are only taxes on the difference.
  17. Mixedcreation macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    thought I replied yesterday but don't see my post...

    As others have stated CA collects Sales Tax on the unsubsidized price of the phone. Information on this can be found at following,, (Publication 120, Cell Phones and Other Wireless Telecommunication Devices). You basically end up paying 8% on the $749 unsubsidized price.

    Just be glad you didn't purchase a phone at Best Buy as you would have been over charged on sales tax as they base their retail price to be $50.99 higher and appear to have some funky math going on with how they calculate Sales Tax. I know this first hand from my experience with them purchasing a 64GB 5s and being overcharged on the Sale Tax. Rather then charging 9% they charged 10.018% on $899.99 price of the phone vs. $849.

    If you go on to their site right now and try to price out a 32 5c bundled with a plan ($68.92tax) vs. one that isn't on contract ($63tax) there end up being a $5.92 difference at a 9% rate. Not sure what they are doing, but they do appear to be overcharging.
  18. Legionnaire Suspended

    Oct 10, 2011
    Alaska is tax free. Quite nice really.
    I am moving to ohio.. ):

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