Sales Tax?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by solaris7, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. solaris7 macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #1
    Hello! I am going to attend an American University this fall. I am planning to buy a laptop at the campus store(probably the macbook pro), and was wondering if the price tag of $1799(educational discount) is after tax or before tax? If it is before tax, does each state have its own sales tax or is it common throughout the US?
     
  2. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #2
    it's before tax, and sales tax varies by state. some states, like oregon, don't even have state sales tax.
     
  3. mBurns macrumors 6502

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    #3
    New Hampshire doesn't have sales tax as well. Depending on how much you purchase, it may be worth a trip to either Oregon or New Hampshire. Another thought: have someone you know who lives in one of these states to purchase the item for you through the edu store and then have him/her ship the item to you!
     
  4. illidian macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Tax can vary even throughout a state.

    For example, in Cincinnati, we added a .25% sales tax for eight years (IIRC) through a vote for the stadiums of the Cincinnati Bengals and Reds.
     
  5. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #5
    some states have sales tax holidays too, i know that Massachusetts and DC are having one in August. Sates usually do them around back to school.

    Sometimes they apply a limit on what you can buy. Ex. I believe DC's is tax exempt only on clothes and shoes under $125(or somewhere around there). So you couldn't buy a new Mac there but I believe the one in Mass is a little more generous you would be able to buy one there.

    If you have family or friends in the areas it would be cool of them to hook you up. I live in NJ so I'd save $140 on a $2,000 purchase.
     
  6. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

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    #6
    Tax varies slightly within a state, but not much. Sales tax is usually
    between 6-9%. For instance, here in Austin its 8.25%.

    Thank God we don't have a state income tax though.
     
  7. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

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    #7
    It varies by state (like everybody else said), but you can avoid the sales tax by buying off a different site such as MacMall. They charge sales tax I think in only 3 states. Sales tax here in NJ is at 7% and NY is I think 8.625%? Either way, its still high and I avoid it at all costs.
     
  8. illidian macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Just to note how this works to the OP: if you make a purchase from a company who does not have a physical location in your state, you do not pay sales tax.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #9
    Tangental Story

    Not really answering the OP's question, but just to add an international flavour to the thread. Most Canadian provinces also have provincial sales tax (not Alberta). If the merchandise is being shipped out of province then the PST does not have to be paid. However, British Columbia (and probably the other provinces) expect you to voluntarily self-submit the BC PST that you would have paid had you purchased the merchandise in the province - and even have the forms available for you. I would love to know how often they get used.
     
  10. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #10
    It's great isn't it? Back on topic. Maybe the thread starter could consider an Amazon.com purchase considering an edu discounted Macbook Pro with tax may be similar in price. Both Apple.com and Amazon.com offer free shipping. Of course if you wish to walk out of a physical store with the unit in hand, disregard my post.
     
  11. Thorbjorn macrumors regular

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    #11
    Amazon doesn't charge sales tax, and offers free shipping. That might be the way to go.
     
  12. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #12
    Retail Prices in the US are almost always before taxes. Most states have a base sales tax (between 4%-8%). Then some states allow for individual counties and cities to add more sales tax on top of that. I'm originally from an area near Seattle, Washington, and the state has a minimum sales tax of 7.5%, and my county added a total of .8% (.6% for a free transit system, and .2% for the Hospital). However, in Seattle, they have added 1.6% (or more by now), some of it is to pay for transit services, stadiums, and roads. Some states, like Washington, allow for special taxes to be leveraged on certain products or services. Washington allows for extra sales taxes on rental cars or hotel rooms.

    At least it is not Canada, where there is a 5% National Sales Tax (GST), then there can be provincial, county, and city sales taxes (each compounding on the other).

    TEG
     
  13. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #13
    Unless you live in Washington, where since they are based there, they have to charge you sales tax.

    TEG
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #14
    And within some cities I believe.

    Too complicated.
     
  15. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #15
    With sales tax in my area, Amazon is the cheaper option.
     

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  16. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #16
    Yeah, I do sales and use tax returns for the company I work at. We have 2 stores in Minnesota and we basically remit 2 different percentages since one is in a certain county.

    I think it's very important to note that just because you don't pay tax now doesn't mean that you're not liable for it. When you prepare your own personal tax return you're asked if you have any purchases that you didn't pay tax on. The answer should be yes and you pay it here but I'd like to know how many people actually do.
     
  17. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #17
    On the other hand, it is your duty to mention these purchases in your next tax return and pay the same amount of tax (it just has a different name). On the other hand, most people conveniently "forget" to do that :rolleyes:.
     
  18. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #18
    does Macmall charge tax?? Their prices are pretty good
     
  19. Dan Lorth macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2008
    #19
    For high dollar items like a computer I wouldnt really try and dodge sales tax personally. Technically speaking you must report it to your state's IRS and pay in taxes come tax time.
     
  20. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #20
    The average consumer wouldn't really have to worry since they tend to target businesses, especially small businesses. Why? Because they are more likely to find errors which lead to more money for them. They won't be too concerned with my $140 in tax that I'm not paying on a one time $2,000 purchase. The person's time is worth more than that.
     
  21. Dan Lorth macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2008
    #21
    ah. I didnt know that, thanks for pointing that out. I was under the impression that any big ticket item they would have eyes out for. I will sneak a few purchases under their radar.
     
  22. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816

    scotty96LSC

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    #22
    Of course if you happen to buy on a military installation there is no tax to pay. What you see as the price is what it will cost.
     
  23. magiic macrumors regular

    magiic

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    Victoria
    #23
    I am going to guess between 0-1%
     

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