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Thread: Tax Exemption in US

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Ithaca, NY, USA
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    Default Tax Exemption in US

    Hi,

    I would like to know how do one qualify for tax exemption/rebates in the States.

    1. Are foreign students studying in the states qualify for tax rebates?

    2. Is there a minimum spending amount?

    3. Is there anyway to get tax rebates if you are a tourist in US and buys stuff from online stores and ship back to your hotel?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tax Exemption in US

    Amazon tries to get around State VAT tax rules for most states. So if you order from them, there's likely no sales tax, except for certain states. And no, there's no way you can claim any rebates for state sales taxes. In general, if you buy from an online vendor, and you are out of state with respect to where the online vendor is based, you do not need to pay for sales tax. You of course pay more for the shipping fees.

    Foreign Students studying in the US generally do not pay for any taxes, except sales tax of course. However, if they earn any money, likely they will be taxed if they earn above a certain level of income.
    Last edited by NazgulKing; 1st January 2010 at 08:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Ithaca, NY, USA
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    Default VAT Tax Exemption in US

    Sorry i did not make myself clear. I'm refering to VAT tax, similiar to GST in singapore.

    So am I correct to say that if i buy some stuffs in the states at an online vendor and ships to my hotel New York, I could not claim VAT taxes even though I am on a tourist visa?

  4. #4

    Default Re: VAT Tax Exemption in US

    Quote Originally Posted by plasma View Post
    Sorry i did not make myself clear. I'm refering to VAT tax, similiar to GST in singapore.

    So am I correct to say that if i buy some stuffs in the states at an online vendor and ships to my hotel New York, I could not claim VAT taxes even though I am on a tourist visa?
    If the online vendor is based out of NY, you don't need to pay any sales tax (or VAT in some places).

    If the online vendor is based in NY, you will likely have to pay sales tax.

  5. #5

    Default Re: VAT Tax Exemption in US

    Quote Originally Posted by plasma View Post
    Sorry i did not make myself clear. I'm refering to VAT tax, similiar to GST in singapore.

    So am I correct to say that if i buy some stuffs in the states at an online vendor and ships to my hotel New York, I could not claim VAT taxes even though I am on a tourist visa?

    You cannot claim service tax.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: VAT Tax Exemption in US

    Quote Originally Posted by plasma View Post
    Sorry i did not make myself clear. I'm refering to VAT tax, similiar to GST in singapore.

    So am I correct to say that if i buy some stuffs in the states at an online vendor and ships to my hotel New York, I could not claim VAT taxes even though I am on a tourist visa?
    Plasma,

    In the USA, each individual state charges sales taxes (not VAT). Some states like Delaware and Oregon do not charge sales taxes. This means that you can go to stores in those states and do not pay sales taxes on goods. Other states like New York, California, Florida, etc charge sales taxes. When you go to the store you will pay the sales tax.

    Now, if an online store does not have a "physical presence" in the state it is shipping the goods, they do not charge sales taxes (the goods are shipped out of state). This is somewhat murky as New York was making Amazon charge sales taxes on goods shipped to New York residents because they had a physical presence there (they had affiliates). Essentially the states all need revenue because they are running deficits (like the rest of the USA).

    You may be able to purchase goods from some on line retailers who will ship the goods to a hotel room. Depending on the physical presence tax you may not be charged sales taxes. Some retailers will not do this because of fraud. Others will.

    Because these are sales taxes, you cannot claim them when you leave the USA.

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