How does a UK buyer visiting US get US sales tax back?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Lindat, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Lindat macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #1
    Just wondering if any UK Macrumor readers have purchased an Ipad in the US, and been able to claim their sales tax back? If so, can you tell me how to go about it? I am presuming that I would have to get some kind of form filled in at the Apple Store and deposit that somewhere before leaving the country? Is it worth the hassle? Anyone have any experience of this? I am visiting Florida in the Summer and was considering picking up an ipad for my birthday whilst there.
     
  2. iPad 2nd Gen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #2
    That's not how sales tax works. It's not citizen-based, it's location based.
     
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #3
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    Never heard of states allowing you to get sales tax back.
    Only way to avoid sales tax would be to buy at a duty free store at the airport.
     
  5. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #5
    These are state sales taxes and are not refunded (not a U.S. tax).

    This is completely different from the VAT that's assessed in other countries (which often can be refunded with a simple application).
     
  6. Kadin macrumors 6502a

    Kadin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #6
    Is it a normal procedure for someone outside the country to buy stuff in the US and not be required to pay tax? I've never heard of this before...
     
  7. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #7
    As I posted earlier, some staes do allow foreign tourists to not pay sales tax (e.g. Texas), some require foreign tourists to pay sales tax (e.g. Florida).

    Edit: Louisiana is another state that does sales tax refunds for foreign visitors: http://www.louisianataxfree.com/
     
  8. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Midlife, Midwest
    #8
    You can't.

    Its a common misconception, brought about by the confusion between European value-added taxes, and US state sales taxes.

    Most European countries charge a (fairly steep) VAT to finance a large part of their national budgets. But as an incentive to get tourists to buy goods, they frequently provide a mechanism (usually an office at their airport) where foreign tourists take their receipts, the physical goods, and their passports to get a rebate on all or some of the VAT they paid.

    Because the US doesn't have national VAT, there is no Government office at the airport to refund it. And the State Governments of Iowa or Wisconsin have no interest in putting an office at O'Hare (in Illinois) for the purpose of giving back any of that Sales tax. They figure you used Wisconsin or Iowa highways to get to the stores to buy whatever, so you can pay the sales tax along with everyone else.

    Pay the four, five, or six percent sales tax and smile. You are already geeting a huge discount over what you'd pay in your home country.
     
  9. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #9
    You can in some states, see my earlier links.
     
  10. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #10
    It's not unheard-of for Europeans traveling to other European countries, which is why he asked. Visitors can sometimes avoid sales tax if you're purchasing items for shipment to your home outside the US and that holds true for US citizens traveling outside their state, but it's generally restricted to the type of store and the specific purchase (for example, my wife likes to send gifts tio out-of-state recipients from a local retailer in our state because they don't have a presence outside our state and don't charge tax on those sales (and ship free).
     
  11. TheXIIIth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #11
    Purchase your stuff in Delaware - they don't have sales tax in that State.
     
  12. Lindat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #12
    Thanks

    This 'he' is a 'she' by the way, ha ha!
    OK, thanks. I must have heard wrongly re. refunds.
    I shall just pay it and smile as you say!
     

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