Buying on Applestore > taxes charged !?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lazarusbf, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. lazarusbf macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2010
    I'm willing to order a new MBP so i simulated (or went for good if it did work) an order in the (US) Applestore, but then when arrived at final checkout it had added over 200$ tax fee ! How's that possible ? Is that for certain areas in the USA (mine was Pittsburgh area).

    I don't understand, i'm in Belgium (CEE) so yes, overseas, but nowhere did i mention my country, all details in the shopping basket were entered to my friend's address and name, and he's living in the Pittsburgh area, and i want it delivered at his home.

    So obviously i didn't confirm the order as they charged me over 3200$ for my 17"/i7/8RAM/7200 model which should have cost 2999.

  2. JoshGlzBrk macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2009
    What do you expect... everything is taxed pretty much. It doesn't matter where you buy it.
  3. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Um, yes. They charge sales tax in practically every state.

    I'm not sure I understand what you don't understand?
  4. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus


    Oct 13, 2007
    Well, in Europe, all prices already have the sales tax included whereas in the US, it's added to the price that's advertised.
  5. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502


    May 21, 2009
    Generally speaking, US online retailers do not have to collect state sales tax if they do not have a physical business presence in the state to which merchandise/product is being shipped.

    However, in your case, Apple has a physical business presence in the Pittsburgh area (retail store), so they are required by law to collect Pennsylvania sales tax on your order since that is where you specified your order to be sent. It doesn't matter that you're in Belgium, or whether you're a US citizen or not.

    Look at it this way: if you came to Pittsburgh and physically walked into the Apple Store and bought a notebook - you'd still be charged sales tax at the time of purchase.

    Hope this clears things up a bit.
  6. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2010
    This is one of the reasons that I prefer to order things from eBay when possible. Typically, they have no tax, free shipping, and you can get 8-10% back with bing cashback. Too bad iPad's are still ridiculously expensive on ebay.
  7. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    If you think that's bad wait until you have to pay VAT on that sucker on import lolololololololololol
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I have a feeling you would have paid a lot more in Belgium... just saying...
  9. nconnella macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    There are many authorized resellers who don't charge tax as long as you are shipping it out of their state.
  10. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    Too bad you don't have friends or family here in Oregon. Neither the Apple Store USA online nor local Apple Retail Stores charge sales tax.

    Also, I noticed Amazon doesn't charge sales tax even if you are in a state that does.
  11. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    ^^^ hey aren't you that guy from :cool:
  12. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502


    May 21, 2009
    Actually Amazon charges sales tax if the product you're buying ships from them to Kentucky. It doesn't if you ship to Michigan, though. Can't speak for any other states, but I do know that Amazon has a major distribution warehouse in KY, but AFAIK, no physical presence in MI.
    Whether or not they add sales tax: "It depends"
  13. RachelB macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010
    #13 and do not charge sales tax (there are also usually small discounts on macbook pros at those sites)
  14. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    In NY State, every online transaction is taxed by state law. So Amazon taxes in NY too, but not in most other states.
  15. BrianMR macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2007
    Amazon charges sales tax in Washington State too of course, where their headquarters is.
  16. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    To add to ergdegdeg's post, I'd just add that in the US, sales taxes are set on a very local level.

    For example, while Pennsylvania charges a 6% sales tax, the county of Allegheny charges an additional 1% sales tax (for a total of 7%). The city Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, so your $2999 MacBook Pro would have had $209.93 of sales tax added to the total.

    Since taxes can vary so much, prices are almost always advertised without tax included.

    Like others have said, not all online retailers charge sales tax. If the online retailer does have a physical presence in a state (i.e. Apple has physical Apple Stores in Pennsylvania), then they are required to collect the sales taxes for any addresses that they ship to in that state.
  17. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    Amazon would doesn't charge sales tax in FL. FL sales tax is somewhere between 6-7% depending on what part of the state you are in.

    The OP just got a surprise, but there is pretty much a sales tax on everything in the US. Some places don't charge tax on food or clothes but everything else is fair game. That's why sites like Amazon are so popular since they fall into a loophole for charging taxes. People are still supposed to pay the tax...but no one checks lol
  18. Maverick713 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    That must be state specific because I have a NY address and both of those companies charge sales tax, however powermax has free shipping and no sales tax.
  19. Tochill macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    I'm a tax accountant so I can tell you why that is. Whether or not a state charges you taxes has to do with something called "nexus"... It generally neccesary for a company to have a physical presence in the state in question. New York has said that since Amazon hosts advertising for stores that are located within the jurisdiction of New York that a nexus is created and therefore any business done with Amazon is therefore taxable.... Amazon is fighting this right now.... Should they lose, the tax free loophole we have all been enjoying by purchasing online could disappear. You can google amazon, nexus and new York if you want more details.
  20. NateDogX macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    #20 is fantastic for California residents. Our state tax is HUGE (9.5%) and buying my 13" MBP on Amazon saved me a truckload. Even more than my NewsCorp discount.
  21. jimitha macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2006
    Heh. I know you are not a CPA because if you are advising your clients to use this supposed loophole, state tax authorities are eventually going to come after you for a lotta dough. It's one thing when individual taxpayers cheat on their taxes by not paying use tax on their online purchases, cause you almost never get caught, and barely anyone knows you are supposed to (witness replies above). But for a "tax accountant" to recommend it... :D
  22. lazarusbf thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2010
    Yes it's much clearer and what a major disappointment for me !
    I never knew prices on the AS or other US online sites were charging taxes. Goddamm that makes my 2999$ become 3208$..
    And yet, still, it's much cheaper than if i bought it over here. There's still a huge gain of over 800$ compared to the € price here.

    I don't think i'll be charged at the friend's mother lives here and visits his son next week and then she flies back in belgium with my (or HER if she says so) brand new MBP in hand.

    And you also say physical stores do charge too ? :(:(:(

    I could give a try to Amazon and other sites (but still they do charge, you say?) but surely there's no chance i will find the MBP i want, especially
    when i want the french keyboard option.

    Of course i can dream a while and let someone here find me the best price for this set up:

    17"/i7/8RAM/7200rpm/antiglare/french keyboard

    PS will not be able to answer further more today until a while, i'm off to work.
  23. hypermog macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2009
    35 million people live here in California, Amazon is a friend to all of us.
  24. stjohnswell macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Amazon is a friend to the UK too.

    They're selling the 17" i5 for £1679 / $2588 which is a generous 12% off the UK apple store price.

    Shame you can't configure them!
  25. Tochill macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    What are you talking about? This is a well known loophole known by the taxing authority. They wrote the state law that allows this to occur. There is absolutely nothing illegal or questionable about it. AS the tax code is written right now it's legal. That's why NY state is not trying to get prior year tax revenue. They passed a NEW law to get the revenue. Are you an accountant? I mentioned that i was a tax accountant because there are all sorts of accountants. An Auditor like my wife has no clue about tax law but we are both CPA's. Trust me if there was anything shady about it all 50 states would be all over it as they are hemorrhaging money.

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