Redirect Macbook shipment to avoid Tax

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by r295694, Aug 24, 2015.

?

Would you do this?

  1. Yea

    7 vote(s)
    24.1%
  2. Ney

    22 vote(s)
    75.9%
  1. r295694 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    #1
    Hi, I live in Boston, Ma.

    I really want to avoid the sales tax, and not drive to New Hampshire (since I can't drive).

    I was thinking about setting the address of my Macbook to my old boarding school in NH, then redirect the package to my current address.

    I know usps, ups, fedex allow me to redirect packages, do you guys have experience with this?

    I know it sounds really dumb.
     
  2. r295694 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
  3. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #4
    I would recommend you have someone take you to NH.
     
  4. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    #5
    I plan on doing the same in Canada. But I plan on using gift cards sent to a family member/friend and have them ship it to me for $30~
     
  5. LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #6
    I live in Toronto.
    If your friend is in US;
    Canada customs will charge you your HST sales tax on the declared value.
    Plus the carrier will charge you brokerage fees (watch out for UPS outrageous fees)
    If your friend mis-declared the shipment as "old Books - value $10"
    Then a chance customs will seize and you are out a MacBook.
    And if lost in transit the insurance recovery will be $10

    But, I have thought of doing the same - have friend purchase in Alberta - 5% sales tax versus 13% Ontario
    But just not worth the trouble and additional shipping cost to me.
     
  6. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    #7

    I think where people fail with this, well scam/fraud, is that they ship it in its original box. This changes the shipment from "new MacBook and tax fraud" to "friend returning old computer." Additionally, I believe the exchange rate makes it a bad deal for US-Canada exchange. Luckily we are both Canadians near Alberta
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    Still fraud. Besides, if you live in Mass and purchase a big ticket item outside of state you are supposed to declare it on your tax return and pay sales tax. Obviously it's very hard for the state dept of revenue to keep track though.
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #9
    that doesn't make sense.

    So someone in Cambridge flies over to Portland, OR, buys a Macbook, doesn't pay sales tax on it (Oregon doesn't have state sales tax), and returns to Cambridge, they have to pay the additional sales tax to MA?

    Sales tax didn't exist on the item purchased, so how could it be calculated to be declared on a tax return?

    BL.
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #10
    It doesn't make sense, but it's still the law. I live in Portland OR, on an island named Hayden Island - the only way on or off this Island is clogged 7 days a week with residents of Clark County WA. There's a Target/Best Buy/Home Depot and other stores in a complex that has thousands of WA State license plates in the parking lots - WA has taken to policing those lots and recording plate numbers of shoppers, and WA has made it clear that state tax is to be paid on purchases in OR State - this is the first tax year they're going after residents. Not to be weird about this issue, I own business entities in OR and WA - we have to divulge WA clients that come to our OR offices for our services (an engineering design and management company); we also have to pay WA State tax on bids/work performed in WA State (and, ironically, we also have to pay for OR income tax at the full rate for work performed in either state :mad::mad::mad:). And, if there's a "city" tax in WA - as in Vancouver WA, which I can see from my office - their residents are also supposed to pay that City tax. WA just raised their gas tax about 12¢ to cover budget shortfalls and pay for enforcement of dodged taxes - those who don't declare are going to be pretty surprised next April...

    FWIW, I'm from NYC. I'm used to the state tax/city tax/breathing tax imposed on City residents. It's funny now, being from the Murray Hill area that I can buy a thing from B&H or Adorama cheaper than my friends who still live in The City (and often get what I want the next day - it's on a plane that night and at my door by 9 a.m. here) since we don't have to pay sales tax here in OR - and I get stuff the next day, so I don't have to pay for a taxi to get there or deal with the colorful "temporary" residents on the sidewalk... :D
     
  10. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
  11. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #12
    Interesting that WA is getting paranoid on this, as my wife and I are thinking of moving to Portland, and haven't decided on Tigard/Wilsonville/Beaverton/Hillsboro, or Vancouver/Camas, as more jobs in my sector are in Beaverton, and she went to the blind school in Vancouver. I also own a business as well that can easily relocate, but it would be weird that if a WA resident bought something in Oregon.... wait... When you mean 'state tax', are you meaning SALES tax, or income tax? I ask, because we may be talking about two separate things here.. side note, I thought WA didn't have state income tax?

    If sales tax, that doesn't make sense, because then if, for example, you lived in Massachusetts, bought a Mac in Washington State, get charged the tax from Washington State, then get charged the tax a second time, because you live in MA.

    And I definitely know that Target/Best Buy/Home Depot complex you're talking about; off I-205, near the airport? I saw a ton of WA licensed cars there last year as well.

    If what you're saying is true, I think you've made up our mind as to which part of the area to move to..

    BL.
     
  12. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #13
    Heh, too much here to address now - my brother's in town from Sitka and heading back tomorrow, and there's Irish Whiskey involved now!

    OR has an income tax. For businesses, there's a Metro tax for those in Multnomah/Washington/Clackamas counties (I'm in Multnomah). Also for businesses, there may be city taxes (Portland and Beaverton do). For businesses, you may or may not be able to work out a "break" or "moratorium" - manufacturing businesses that employ people like Intel or Nike get breaks, small businesses like mine get shown the back shortcut to the door, which is why we're looking to relocate now.

    WA has a sales tax, and no income tax. WA residents who work in OR pay a non-resident income tax - and have to deal with the clusterf*** of the limited access from one location to another because of the bridge-bottleneck highway system (keep in mind here that I'm from NYC). Clark County has a county tax, levied on top of the state tax. Vancouver has a city tax, levied on top of the county and state taxes. Some counties in WA have no corporate tax.

    We're likely going to locate a new manufacturing business in Kalama WA, in Cowlitz County - no corporate, county, or city taxes and the sales tax in WA is 3-4 points less than OR's income tax. We're not big enough to warrant a snort or second thought by the local governments for a tax break.

    As to your situation related to the "WA tax" bit - where is the delivery to? A delivery to a locale like Vancouver or Seattle would be subject to state tax, county tax, and city tax - providing proof of residence on top of that. If you buy a widget with a Vancouver WA or Seattle WA "address", you'll owe 3 entities. Some agencies are getting pretty aggressive with tax collection. As I wrote in my OP, I'm on Hayden Island which I-5 bisects, so wrong side of town! - I-205 is on the east side of Portland (near where the Airport is) and I'm in the central area.

    If I were you? My two business partners work here in Portland, but they live in Vancouver. The taxes are lower, their wives work in Clark County, but they deal with nasty traffic daily as a sacrifice to their families. FWIW, the Blind Schools in Vancouver are very progressive and absolutely beyond reproach - I've known and collaborated with students and staff there going back to the late-'80s, and the transit authority in Clark County (C-Tran) serves that community well - that School is - and has been for decades - a source of pride of Vancouver. As to the commute through Portland - get a really good traffic app as you'll need it - there's only two bridges between here and there... I'm only on Hayden Island because my brother and I own property here that's already paid for, but we're already looking to sell and relocate.
     
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #14
    What's being described here is generally called "Use Tax," and most states that collect sales tax also have use tax on the law books (and as a line item on the state's personal tax returns). In fact, the formal name of the tax is often "Sales and Use Tax." Paying use taxes is no different philosophically from paying income taxes on cash income - voluntary compliance with the law. As with any law, some abide by it, others don't. In this particular case, the citizens of Massachusetts are expected to pay tax on certain goods and services, regardless of where they came from.

    Governments can tax just about anything they please, within limits (consent of the governed, treaties on interstate and international commerce, etc...). In the case of taxes levied on goods and services, it's generally easier/more effective to collect those taxes at the point of production or sale (sales tax, VAT, HST/GST, etc.) than it is to collect them after the fact (use tax)--it's no different than collecting taxes on wages at the place of employment, or collecting duties before goods are allowed to leave the wharf.

    The math for paying use tax is simple enough - save the sales receipt(s) for items delivered to you from out-of-state sources (traditionally in a shoe box). Add them up, put the total on line 43a of the tax return, multiply that by your local Sales and Use Tax percentage, and put the result on line 43b of the tax return. Compared to the rest of the tax form, easy peasy.
     
  14. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    #15
    The other hard part is getting people to acknowledge the Use Tax and comply by it. I'd be interested in how many people do so.
     
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #16
    Mass has a place in the state income tax where you are supposed to report out of state purchases like computers, but I've never heard of anyone actually doing it. I agree it does not make sense, but do any state/federal income tax rules really make sense anyway?
     
  16. paulsdenton macrumors 6502

    paulsdenton

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Barton, Vermont USA
    #17
    Same thing in Vermont; no matter where you buy it you are supposed to declare it (on your income tax return) and pay the tax. Lots of people go over to New Hampshire and buy big ticket stuff and don't declare it though. Or buy from B&H or MacMall and don't declare it...
     
  17. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    It won't work because Apple won't let you redirect the shipment unless it's been attempted once.
     
  18. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #19
    The shipment has to be signed for, but the shipment carrier probably will leave it with any warm body.

    Nay, illegal.
     
  19. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #20
    "WA residents who work in OR pay a non-resident income tax - and have to deal with the clusterf*** of the limited access from one location to another because of the bridge-bottleneck highway system"

    Considering OR is supplying the jobs WA state residents want/need, perhaps you should convince your legislature to help pay for at least part of a new bridge, which they've so far refused to do.
     
  20. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #21
    Isn't it determined by credit card billing address, anyway?

    If you want to use a student discount AND not pay sales tax, move for school to a state that doesn't have a sales tax.
     
  21. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #22
    Ha, you're too funny! In the early-mid-90's I worked in Engineering Services for Tri-Met - my first assigned project was the "north" light rail extension from what is now the Rose Quarter - we had matching funds from OR and Fed, but WA and Clark County soundly rejected any extension of the LRT into Clark County, with some of the proposals including addition traffic lanes. The north line was built, but only to the terminus at the Expo Center - multiple attempts to reach out to WA were rebuffed! We'd have been done a decade ago, and the Fed dollars were available at the time. :mad:

    Furthermore, the Port of Vancouver has had plans on the table to put in a mixed-use facility on their property right where the Red Lion at the Quay is, plus the surrounding area. Just a few days ago, Red Lion put out a PR that October 31 will be the Quay's last day of business. There's nowhere to go to expand the I-5 Bridge on either side now on the WA side. That's what downtown Vancouver needs more of - empty retail space that hasn't been rented in a decade, more room for the multiple pawn shops and seedy bars - it's pretty much been that way since the late '70s...

    WSDOT took out their HOV lane some time ago and hasn't addressed the nasty entrance to Hwy 14 that causes that back up every frickin' day. But why we don't have a flex lane approaching that old Bridge each day is beyond me.

    Yes, there's a few alignments that would work but none of them are cheap.

    Frankly, what I'd like to see is Google Fiber come in to complement what Century Link is doing - putting in gig fiber. Then, instead of blowing $5B on a bridge that will take 15 years to design and build (I grew up a mile away from the I-205 alignment, and the Glenn Jackson Bridge took forever to build), use the funds to house people and create multiple work centers backed by fiber and relocate some of the work staff and get them out of their cars. I'd rather hang out with friends then be stuck in this traffic. This, coming from a guy whose building/projects were in LaGrande, Antelope, Ashland, Astoria, Seattle, Skamokawa, plus local sites - those commutes were a drag! Cheers!
     
  22. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a

    zachlegomaniac

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #23
    Get a ride up 93 to the mall in Salem. I know you said you can't drive, but can someone do you a favor? I believe it's an hour round trip. I think that's you're easiest bet, man. By far.

    Also, I'd be blown away if there isn't public transit from South or North Station to Salem, NH.

    Either that or be grateful for the offset from the student discount. You're saving less than 100$ (I'm guessing - minus the twenty bucks for gas or the T) for what sounds like it would be an inconvenience for you. Just my two cents. Good luck.
     
  23. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #24
    Ouch. As long as Who Song & Larry's stays open, I'll be fine. damn good fajitas!

    However, you are really making Beaverton look good for me to move to! My wife knows Vancouver, but damn, you're making that part of the city, or even Tualatin look good.

    I've been keeping a look out on fiber.google.com every so often for news of fiber rollout up there. But if CenturyLink is rolling it out, I don't know if Comcast is matching, but between the three, I'd take Google over them all. so I'm eagerly watching to see what happens.

    Sorry for the threadjack, OP.

    BL.
     
  24. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #25
    I've bounced around the US for 30 years, opting to stay in the Portland area since my elderly mom and my best friend live nearby. About a choice between Beaverton and The 'Couv, I'd opt for the former - my "line" for Vancouver is "There's 3 things to do in Vancouver - eat, sleep, and leave". The water quality in Clark County is the second worst I've ever had - the first being in Austin TX, with the hardness and sulfur content. There's nothing to really do in Vancouver except leave - the traffic flow will bear that out every Friday and Saturday. Jobs aren't that easy to come by as all of the major employers have located to Multnomah and Cowlitz Counties. And, there isn't one decent place to eat in The 'Couv. And, the schools suck, outside of Clark College (where I graduated from in '89 before moving on to U of Portland) and the local WSU campus.

    As to Who Song and Larry's, they've tanked. I can bang out Mex or Tex-Mex in minutes that would beat them - I did live in Austin and learned a thing or two, but I've been cooking (really cooking) for over 40 years and have 17 different types of peppers and 6 types of peppercorns in my dry chest. I like the burn. In Beaverton, which I'm not fond of as the traffic also sucks, the Latin food is hugely better in Hillsboro, and there's the Uwajimaya market - a glorious place IMHO.

    If there was a coin flip for a place to live, I'd be doing the "best of 3", "best of 5", "best of 7" - I just couldn't move back to Vancouver. Two of my friends live there, but they always meet me in DT Portland for drinks or food - that should offer something? What you'd be saving in taxes you'd be spending on water filters - yeah, it's that bad.

    As for Comcast, they're not investing much here. My biz partner and I are looking at 3 locations for a new office - two are currently served by CL fiber, and the 3rd location is in Independence OR, which has their own fiber network. If I were holding my breath for Comcast, I'd be dead long ago. FWIW, a lot of Beaverton has FIOS - so, there's that! Cheers!
     

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