Buying MBP without Sales Tax as a Turist, NY City

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheSwede86, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. TheSwede86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    Hi!

    First of all, Hi everybody :)

    Now to my question, I've posted this on many swedish Mac forums but I thought that an international forum would be better suited for this question (I'm looking for you americans out there, or any other ppl that might know).

    So here's the deal:

    A friend of mine will go to New York in a few months time and I would like him to buy a new MBP 15" for me.
    I would like to buy it without sales tax, is that possible?

    Take the Apple Store in NYC for example, some people said that if you tell them (the store) that you are a foreigner and maybe show them your passport they will seal the bag with your bought items and you will be able to get the sales tax back at the airport (Newark)?

    Anybody knows anything about this, specially for Apple Retail Stores in NYC?

    I can buy it online from an online retailer that does not charge sales tax but then I have a payment problem since most only accept US issuied credit cards.

    Another question, those stores that accept paypal, if I enter another adress on my paypal account then I should be able to use paypal right?

    Or does the store "get" that my paypal account isn't american and therefore my billing & shipping adress differs and that might create problems?

    Thanks in advance - TheSwede86
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    while you might avoid sales tax, what about your import duties when you re-enter your country?
     
  3. CBX macrumors regular

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    May 15, 2007
    #3
    I dont think you can avoid paying the sales tax in NYC. Ive never heard that you can claim back @ Newark either.

    Plus you will need to pay tax when returning to your country!
     
  4. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #4
    AFAIK, no retail purchase in the US is exempted from sales tax based on state or country of residence. Basically, if you buy it there, you pay sales tax there.
     
  5. TheSwede86 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #5
    Wow great response, thanks :)

    I read somewhere that if I lived in a state that does not charge sales tax and buy an item in a state that have sales tax (lets say NY) then its "my" state's rule that is used (meaning I pay no tax since I live in a state that does not charges sales tax), is that correct?

    If so then I would hope that the same applies for foreigners.
     
  6. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Jan 6, 2002
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    Orlando
    #6
    You read wrong, unfortunately. The sales tax charged is based on the location of the store where you buy it (can be different for online sales, but brick-and-mortar sales always work this way). What you might be able to do is claim the sales tax on your taxes, but that would be up to your country's tax codes.

    jW
     
  7. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #7
    That's not the case. The philosophy is not a matter of where you live, but rather where you buy. Since the state that the store maintains a physical presence is subject to that state's laws, they have no choice in collecting the requisite taxes. This applies to any federal excise, county, city or other taxes as well.

    For example, in my community the current sales tax is combined 8.1% (state & county). If I make a purchase in a neighboring town that has an additional tax within the city limits, I pay that as well (in one case, the new total becomes 10%).

    The thing to do is make the purchase in a state or locality that has the lowest net taxes, but you would still be subject to paying them.
     
  8. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

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    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #8
    Amazon.com takes foreign credit cards and you can send the item to an US address (at least last year they did).
     
  9. MuDPHuDStudent macrumors member

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    Location:
    Hanover, NH
    #9
    Tell your friend to drive to New Hampshire and buy it. :)
     
  10. TheSwede86 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #10
    The only drawback is that they apply sales tax to NYC.
    Not all internet stores charges sales tax to NYC and I want a store that don't charge it and accept foreign credit cards ;)
     
  11. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

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    #11
  12. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

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    #12
    Don't forget that you WILL HAVE TO PAY import duty on your laptop when your friend arrives back in Sweden.

    There are ways around it but I'm not at liberty to say
     
  13. Pak^Man macrumors regular

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #13
    Sales tax in the US is collected by the State/County, not by the federal government. You can not get the sales tax back even as a tourist. It works in the UK, but not in the US. If you want to save sales tax, order it through Amazon.com.
     
  14. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #14
    I wonder if any airports have duty-free Macs/iPods for sale for people leaving the country?
     
  15. TheSwede86 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #15
    Hi!

    Sadly as I stated before Amazon.com charges sales tax when ordering to a New York City adress (prob. for New York State as well).

    Although I have been in contact with them and they said that with proper documents (copy of my passport, written affidavit that it won't be used in NYC, etc. etc.) I can get the tax back.

    This is great, now I only need to check that:

    A) Amazon.com accepts foreign debit cards (MasterCard)
    B) My bank accepts that I add a New York City adress as secondary billing/shipping adress (if Amazon.com requires it)

    Can any nice person ask Apple Retail Store (if anybody has their way in the vicinity of one) if you could as a foreigner in any way get back sales tax from a purchase (read: computer :D) from them?

    I know, everybody has said "NO YOU CAN'T" in this thread but Amazon.com seemed to find a way and perhaps Apple Retail Store's will find a way as well *really hope so, WAY much easier then ordering online*
     
  16. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #16
    Slightly OT, I don't understand this. Doesn't this mean that public services in Delaware are far less developed than in states where there is more income from sales tax?
     
  17. MuDPHuDStudent macrumors member

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    Hanover, NH
    #17
    No, not necessarily. I go to grad school in New Hampshire, where there is no state income or sales tax, and they manage to do decently well with social services. Of course, property taxes are higher in New Hampshire than many other states, so it's not as if there's no tax revenue. It is also true the population (on average) is better educated and the state has a lower unemployment rate than other states, so there are fewer demands for social services.
     
  18. weaponofchoice macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    #18
    You can buy things in the US without paying taxes (trust me on this one, I'm mexican and have bought lots of stuff there ;) )

    You need to go to the store, buy the thing and pay for everything, including the taxes. After that, you will need to fill a paper that it's called 'manifesto'. What this wonderful little paper does, is, basically, return to you any taxes you have paid for an item (if you're not US citizen, obviously).

    They don't give you the money on the same day. Hope it helps you. Greetings.
     
  19. cu2010 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    new york city
    #19
    This is absolutely unbelievable! Had I known this, I would have asked my friends to fill out the "manifesto" for me.
     
  20. rjsmith18 macrumors member

    rjsmith18

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    Aug 17, 2008
    #20
    It would be easier to drive to Delaware from NY to get tax free shopping.
     
  21. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

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    Deployed atm
  22. TheSwede86 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #22
    This was extremely interesting, thank you for sharing that.

    This "manifesto" is this available in the store that I bought the items or on any specific website etc.?
    Also how do I get the money back, do I get it from the store a few days later or on my bank account etc.?

    And I don't need a US bank or a something like that (would seem to defeat the whole purpose but better safe then sorry)?

    So lets say my friend lands in NYC and is going to stay there for 4 days.
    The first day he walks straight into an Apple Retail Store and buys my stuff and fills out the paper.

    What happends then?
     

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