Tax and Exchanging a Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Susel, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Susel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #1
    Hi all, I have been lurking quite a while but this is my first post.

    Almost 2 weeks ago I bought a 2.4 Macbook pro and a printer on the rebate deal.

    I would like to exchange for a better printer, however, my original purchase was done in tax free Delaware and the exchange will have to be done in the very not tax free New York, NY.

    The sales guy said they would only be able to do the exchange and qualify the printer for the rebate by returning and reselling me both my computer and new printer so they would be on the same invoice.

    It occured to me after I spoke with them that this probably means NYC taxes would also be added in, making the $78 I was planning to spend on a printer increase to around $300 after the rebate.

    If so this is not really a very good deal anymore. Maybe I should just get the rebate on the $99 printer I bought and sell it to pay for the one I want.

    Any ideas, opinions?

    Thanks,

    Susel
     
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #2
    My opinion is that you have the right idea above.
     
  3. TFox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    Going to a state that does not charge sales tax is not a tax-avoidance measure; it's a tax-deferral measure.

    See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=333662

    See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_tax

    The bottom line is that if you're going out of your way to buy products from a jurisdiction that "doesn't have sales tax," you're wasting your time unless you also intend to engage in tax fraud in your home state. Since you're going to wind up owing the tax in the same amount anyway, you might as well buy from a local merchant where you're relatively more assured that your tax money is going to local revenues for local projects.
     
  4. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    ...or you could have the attitude that since the only justification for use tax is that the state loses tax income when you shop elsewhere, and since use tax is virtually impossible to enforce, use tax is both an unfair and unimportant provision with which you can leave both ethically and practically.

    You might consider it fair for a state to mandate that I must buy all my goods in it or pay tax on all my belongings that merely reside within its borders, but don't be surprised if I don't.
     
  5. TFox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #5
    Don't be so churlish. The "justification" for a use tax is that its absence causes neighboring states to have a "race to the bottom" on sales tax rates, which then requires those states to adjust their other forms of tax (income, real property, personal property, utility) in order to provide all the services that their citizens voted for them to provide.

    Oregon doesn't have a sales or use tax. Because your state has chosen to rely on other methods of taxing you, Oregon has one of the ten highest personal income tax rates in the nation. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and the only real question is how to allocate the cost of providing all of the infrastructure all around you. You're not really "avoiding" sales tax by living in Oregon -- you're just shouldering the same tax burden in a way that costs you just as much when you save it as when you spend it. That's a policy choice you've all made in Oregon, but don't assume the other states are stupid for doing what they do.

    BTW, you should be more careful about encouraging people to refuse to pay tax that they indisputably owe under their local laws. Advocate for changing the law all you want, but encouraging others to ignore it is a crime.
     
  6. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Umm... no it is not.
     
  7. TFox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #7
    Wow, you are truly reckless. In a word, yes, it is. See Oregon Revised Statutes section 161.155. There is a similar provision in every freakin' state in the union. If you encourage someone to break the law, and they subsequently do, you're equally liable for the crime they commit. It's a long-standing exception to the First Amendment.

    But I've given up on convincing you. The best I can hope is that someone else reading this thread actually cares whether they are breaking the law, and recognizes that what you have posted is foolhardy. Good luck to you and godspeed.
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    Why is it that almost all of your posts on here are about paying taxes? You work for the IRS or something?


    I have never paid taxes on internet purchases (except when automatically charged by the retailer which is rare). And for large internet purchases, I actually make it a point to find the closest retailer outside of my state so I can still get fast shipping time with no sales tax.

    If the fed wanted a sales tax on internet purchases, they'd require retailers to add that tax automatically, just like brick and mortar stores do. They're obviously not missing it that much.

    I don't want to send this to PRSI, so I won't say much about it, but I recommend watching the movie From Freedom to Fascism if you want to see how much of a scam the IRS really is. Sometimes I think the only reason I even file a 1040 each year is because I always get money back.
     
  9. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #9
    Just hope that I do not find a single book that you bought from Amazon or in a foreign airport that you have not paid sales tax on!

    Get over it.
     
  10. TFox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #10
    No, I don't. I've lurked here about a year and half, and thought I should finally post in response to all of the "buy online -- it's tax-free" posts, since I know them to be factually wrong.

    Sales tax isn't charged by the IRS, so no, they're not "missing it," nor are they likely ever to charge a uniform national sales tax like VAT in the EU. It's charged by state and local governments, who don't have the power to require retailers to add it to your bill, but do have the power to prosecute you when you don't report under the mechanism they've provided. So the entities that are missing it are the ones that maintain the infrastructure you see everyday -- roads, bridges, fire departments, schools.

    It's a curious thing that compels people on Internet forums to think that a person reporting bad news must necessarily like it. I don't like paying sales tax or use tax any more than you do. But I also don't like misinformation, and there is a lot of that on this board on this particular topic. "This sucks" is different from "this sucks and you shouldn't pay it."
     

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