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Tax refund at airport
June 7, 2006 6:13 AM   Subscribe

Tax payable on a laptop bought in NYC but carried back to Europe?

I bought a laptop in NYC and was told in the shop that I would have to pay tax on the purchase but could get a refund at the airport (Newark). When I got there they told me I could only process the refund at JFK.

I have the appropriate stamps etc.

What recourse is available to me for a refund?

Thanks
posted by johoney to Work & Money (7 answers total)
 
What tax did they say you could get a refund for? The 8.375% sales tax? I've never heard of that being refundable, since it is a local tax.
posted by smackfu at 6:32 AM on June 7, 2006


Where do you live? When I was a student at home in Ireland I worked summers in the US. There were agencies in Dublin that would claim these sales taxes back for you and also file your income taxes. Can't remember the name of any, but they were centred in the student travel agency offices.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:38 AM on June 7, 2006


I've never heard of that being refundable, since it is a local tax.

States can offer a refund to foreign tourists if they feel like it. On the other hand, a shady store in NYC who knows they'll never see you again may have lied to you.

What you want to do is contact the New York Department of Taxation and Finance.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:11 AM on June 7, 2006


One trick that I've seen done for musical instrumets purchased in New York and taken out of its jurisdiction was to have you shipped an empty box to your non-New York address. This then constitutes an out-of-state sale and is far cheaper than paying tax. I imagine the same trick could be done for computers.
posted by plinth at 9:00 AM on June 7, 2006


but could get a refund at the airport (Newark). When I got there they told me I could only process the refund at JFK.

because Newark is in NJ and you bought the computer in NY State (JFK is in NY State)? so maybe they were talking about a State tax and NY State authorities at JFK could have helped you on that?
posted by matteo at 9:33 AM on June 7, 2006


plinth sez: have you shipped an empty box to your non-New York address

This is illegal sales tax evasion, and what crooked Tyco CEO Kozlowski was first indicted for: "According to the indictment, Kozlowski avoided paying any of the $1.1 million in New York sales taxes by getting art gallery employees in New York and London to ship empty boxes to the company's offices in Exeter, N.H., by falsifying documents, and by getting Tyco employees in New Hampshire to sign for the shipments."

Of course, they're not going to come after you over a laptop, but just saying. You bought it in New York, so that's probably where you'd have to get any refund.
posted by SenshiNeko at 12:36 PM on June 7, 2006


You are entitled to a refund. However, if you just carry it back to Europe and don't declare it, you may avoid/evade paying VAT on return.

I don't know how to get the refund. I'm surprised you got the run-around at Newark.

If you have goods shipped between countries, beware that you may have to pay VAT on the shipping cost, depending on how the sender does the paper work. That happened to me in a case where the shipping was more cost than the goods! The tax ended up being more costly than the goods as well.
posted by Goofyy at 7:01 AM on June 8, 2006


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