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Author Topic: State Sales Taxes  (Read 3160 times)


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State Sales Taxes
« on: May 17, 2011, 03:37:08 PM »
Hello Everyone!

I have a question regarding Canadian's paying state sales taxes while traveling in the US.  I have heard from a few people that Canadian's don't have to pay the state sales tax if they show proof of being Canadian.  Also, if you happen to pay the tax, you can apply to get it back once you are back in Canada.  I've searched the internet and have not be able to find anything about this.  Of course, the people who have told me about this have not experienced it themselves...it's always a friend of a friend type of thing. 

We are planning a two week RV trip along the upper east coast of the US and if we can avoid paying sales tax, it would be great.  Does anyone have any direct experience with this?


Carl L

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Re: State Sales Taxes
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 04:25:57 PM »
Urban legend.   No state is going to pass up a shot at sales tax, be you Canadian or not.   

The UK used to have a VAT refund for tourists but VAT is a national tax, and they did not make it any too easy.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco


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Re: State Sales Taxes
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 04:57:58 PM »
I sort of figured...but, thought it was worth asking around.


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Re: State Sales Taxes
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 06:47:21 PM »
In some cases, yes, you can avoid paying state sales tax.  In Washington state I just bought a laptop from Staples in Bellevue/Redmond, WA and didn't have to pay state sales tax.

However, in WA,
1) you must come from a provinces or territory that does not have a sales tax.   Alberta, Yukon, NWT and Nunavut were, I think, it.
2) this is entirely voluntary on the part of the retailer.

I was able to quickly find the relevant page on the WA gov website using Google.

The good thing is that particular Staples knew exactly what I was talking about and had the forms ready.  They did want to see my drivers license and wrote down the drivers license number which was fine by me.

The reason I bought the laptop in the USA was that I did *NOT* want to purchase a laptop in Canada with the FRIGGING multilingual keyboard.  >:( I'm a touch typist and those extra keys really, really **** me off.

Now I'm told by my American friends who live in states near the border of another state without a sales tax that retailers just over the line are well used to queries along these same lines and they will also remove the sales tax. If you are a resident on the non sales tax state.   Presumably the border merchants want to be competitive with the merchants on the non sales tax side.

But if you go deep into a sales tax state retailers aren't as familiar with that option.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: State Sales Taxes
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 10:07:50 PM »
In many (most?) states the sales tax is also a use tax and applies to all purchases, whether by residents or non-residents. Exceptions are granted only for items delivered out of state.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Jim Godward

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Re: State Sales Taxes
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 12:20:34 AM »

Montana is a non-sales tax state and yes we also get consderation most places in WA on durable items but not food etc.  We did often buy stuff for our grand kids but they have all moved to OR so have no sales tax either now.
Jim & Pat Godward
Hillsboro, Oregon