buy a macbook pro in US while travelling from Europe

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tex-Twil, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020

    Tex-Twil

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    Hi,
    I'm from Europe and I will go to the US in two month. I'd like to buy a new macbook pro there in a Apple retail store.

    How are the taxes calculated if I pay with my German credit card? I see that the online store has a tax calculator based on a US ZIP code but of course I don't have a postal US address.

    Where do I have to declare the import tax when travelling back to Europe?

    cheers
     
  2. Barney63 macrumors 6502a

    Barney63

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Bolton, UK.
    #2
    Although it is probably classed as fraud, you could simply ditch all the box and carry the laptop as though you were travelling with it. They wouldn't know to charge you import taxes.

    Barney
     
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #3
    Depending on which state you are in, there may or may not be a sales tax.

    Your credit card would be charged the amount in US dollars, plus taxes (the state's tax) if there is one.

    Unless you intend to commit fraud, you'll have to pay VAT(I believe that's what you europeans call it? I'm from Canada so I don't know for sure) on the item, probably negating any savings you may have had from buying abroad.
     
  4. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Japan
    #4
    Only taxes you'd pay are the sales tax for the state you are in.

    Import tax....you have nothing to declare lol. Now if buying 10 of these things with an eye to sell of 9...you might. If truly honest or want guidance more in the letter of the law on your flight you will get forms for declaration and such and they will have an amount. I know US to Japan and vice versa the value is so high I declare nothing legally.

    To be honest your MBP should be real low on radar. They's be looking for the person buying dozens of cartons of cigarrettes from the duty free more likely when you land back in Germany.


    Stuff like personal use however I don't see the tax man hunting you down. I am American, my wife is Japanese. I live in japan and hit the states every couple of years. Customs and such has been no hassles with purchases made here I take back or stuff the wifey may buy in the US and have it come back here.
     
  5. Tex-Twil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tex-Twil

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Europe
    #5
    ok thanks for the answer.

    I will anyway throw away the box and put the mbp to my bag.

    cheers
     
  6. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #6
    If you can live with a US keyboard you should have no problems. Finding a mac with a German keyboard will be hard!
     
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #7
  8. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #8
    If its purchased for your personal use, then while in US load it up with some data, if u want the box keep it in your checked in luggage but you laptop with you. In my county they never taxed me you are allowed to get one thing for personal use only if you have more then two you will be taxed. Same with gold if you are wearing it you will not be taxed.
     
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #9
    If you buy stuff and depart immediately with the practically new product it is not the same as if you used it in the country that you stayed for a while. They cannot legally charge you the initial tax as the value is already reduced. If you just sold and bought it on ebay it would already be less.

    They usually don't bother. It is easy to determine where something was bought but that there is no real import tax on this stuff like there is on various other things like cameras. It is just the vat that you'd have to pay here and that is only an issue if you go there for just a short holiday.

    If you stay for two months or anything past 2-3 weeks, there shouldn't be any issues. You don't have to pay vat for used clothes either or for the burrito in your belly. Assuming you buy at the beginning of your trip. Legally you should but after some value depreciation I don't even know how it legally works.
     
  10. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    unless google translate is failing hard this person was bringing in quite a large amount of clothes, designer it seems. This stands out.

    Sort of like my half joke/half truth about several cartons of cigarettes.

    In my experience customs is about bulk. Funny story that may or may not have happened. I knew this guy once (as I would never do this...:D) partial to certain brands of cigars. these cigars may or may not be Cuban.

    Japan has no pants on head idiotic embargo on them. So on at least one trip he without even thinking about it may or may not have thrown in a few cigars that may or may not have been cuban in his carry on. As he didn't chain smoke what are 1100 yen+ ($11+ USD roughly) cigars 2-3 cigars made it through Japanese inspection, then the eagle eyes of TSA inspection.

    Now if he inadvertently stuffed in several boxes of these cigars which may or may not be Cuban he may (not may not) have had a side talk with a customs agent at some point.
     
  11. dalupus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #11
    I've filled several passports with visas over the last 10 years. Nobody has ever even looked twice at my laptops. I carry 2 or 3 different ones with me at times.

    No boxes of course.

    --- if by the off chance you do pay vat on it I believe you can file to get back the sales tax you paid in the states but I am not sure
     
  12. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #12
    Doesn't have to be. I live in Switzerland where i bough a rMPB with US keyboard. You can buy a mac with US keyboard in any country!
     
  13. leftyMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    #13
    as a tourist, I think you can get the sales tax refunded if you have to pay the tax up front in the US. and if you are worried about the German customs officers at the border, you can enter via an European country other than Germany, for example France.

    but honestly, I don't think you'll have any problem bringing back a MBP. just don't tell them you purchased a MBP in the US.

    BTW, I used to live in Germany, always bought various gadgets in Canada to bring back to Germany. I had no issues whatsoever at the border.
     
  14. Serelus macrumors 6502a

    Serelus

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Vm9pZA
    #14
    Make sure you switch the US charger with a German one, because that is how they get you if they see it in your bag/sleeve.
     
  15. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #15
    I understand this, I just did the same.

    That is not really the point. The point is that the personnel at the declaration is not stupid. They know when the planes e.g. from New York arrive, which is a popular place for shopping since the tickets are relatively cheap from Europe. Once they look and see a laptop with US keyboard, this might motivate them to ask further questions. (also the "new" smell takes a few weeks to wear off)

    I am not trying to promote the import taxes etc. I believe that I should be allowed to go shopping abroad without having to pay taxes twice - at the same time tourists visit my country and will pay taxes there.
    However the situation is different in practice. If someone goes shopping in germany he can claim back the VAT if he leaves the EU afterwards. At the same time if I bring goods back to Germany (or Switzerland in my case) I am supposed to pay taxes and possibly import duties. Evading those unfortunately is a crime, even if the items are just for personal use. There is no "one personal item" rule, just a limit on the total value.
     
  16. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #16
    I'm a US resident (for 14 years) but a British citizen and everything I own was bought in the US, including my my brand new rMBP with a US charger and keyboard. I've never once been asked about my laptop when entering Europe at any airport. I know that I wouldn't have to pay tax on it since I can show I'm a US resident, but I've never been asked to prove it on entering Europe (coming the other way, now that's different).
     
  17. Ezhik macrumors regular

    Ezhik

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Location:
    Cupertino (No, really)
    #17
    Toss the box in luggage and the laptop in hand carry perhaps?
     
  18. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #18
    Toss the box in the garbage.....or send it via mail to yourself......cause if they find the box you have no chance whatsoever!

    Don't forget that you first get your luggage before going through customs (not talking about immigration!!) so you will have both at the same time!
     
  19. Tex-Twil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Tex-Twil

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Europe
    #19
    Good point for switching the charger.

    As far as the keyboard is concerned, I always buy macs with the US keyboard .. but yes it will be one hint to the customs.

    I will be staying two weeks there so I will install my software on it.
     
  20. Dovahkiing macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    #20
    This varies state to state, but I'm pretty sure that in general visitors can not get sales tax refunded.
     
  21. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    #21
    Can you order a euro keyboard for store pickup in the states??
     

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