Tourist buying MBP from NY?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by InsiderApps, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. InsiderApps macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    Hi there,

    In February, I'll be in NYC and I was planning to buy a MBP while I'm over there as it's a fair amount cheaper compared to the UK.

    I'm a student and I have an international-valid NUS discount card, which gives me about 15% off Apple products AFAIK (correct me if you know otherwise), but there was a few things that I have tried to research but have not found exact answers:

    How much is sales tax for tourists? I've heard mixed things about this.. At the moment I'm assuming it's about 8.5%, but then I've been told that tourisms are exempt from a certain limit of tax, so if anybody does know, please tell me. :D

    If I do have to pay sales tax, do I then have to declare the item in the airport and have to pay import tax, and if so, can I then get the sales tax back?

    Just want to clarify these things.

  2. gbredneck macrumors member


    Oct 11, 2010
    Just remember

    When you bring it back into the UK you'll be over your personal allowance which was recently increased to £390.

    If you declare it, you'll get stung for duty and VAT at the normal rate.

    I recently took a trip to the US, to buy same item, but after speaking with HMCE it just wasnt worth the hassle and extra expense.

  3. greenmountain macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2010
    US Tax Rebates

    Generally speaking, the US does not offer lower or rebated taxes to tourists (the exception, I think, is Louisiana and even there it's only at certain stores). Whatever the sales tax is (and in NYC 8.5% sounds about right) everyone pays it - locals and foreigners alike. If this sounds odd, bear in mind that American sales taxes are local/state taxes - not national taxes like VAT in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.

    Goods shipped across state lines usually are not subject to local sales tax, but I would be surprised if many retailers let you do that using a foreign-registered credit card (it sets off alarm bells for identity theft).

    If you can get to Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire or Oregon you'll save money because those states have no general sales tax.

    Some states have occasional one or two-day sales tax holidays, but these are rare and benefiting from them requires being in the right place at the right time. Note that even when these tax holidays do take place they often exempt big ticket items - like computers.
  4. SuperSnake2012 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    New York City charges 8.875% tax. No tourist discount. If anything, you get charged extra. :D
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    As long as you don't bring back the box (you can mail it back). They can't really tell whether you bought a laptop while traveling.

    No tourist discount.
  6. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    I did the same this summer...took a MBP for my dad...bought it with education discount (i am in high school in az). I put the box in my bag and carried the MBP with me with my other laptop.
    You'll have to pay the sales tax though.
  7. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Plane Ticket

    Bring your Passport and Plane ticket to the store. I don't know the current policy but in the past my friends were exempt from tax after they talked to the manager. NYC Apple stores are filled with tourist and have expertise in this area.

    Also many NYC camera shops will sell items including Macs to tourists tax free. They mailed my camera's empty box home while I used the camera for taking photos in NYC.

    Funny, the things Americans do to avoid taxes, I guess it's the history in our DNA. Personally, I never understood the phrase "Value Added Tax". What value does the government add to the product or my purchase? And at 17.5%?

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