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Hey all,

Quick question for those familiar with the border.

If I buy a new laptop next week in San Francisco, what duty do I have to pay at the border?

Is it GST AND PST?

Related questions:

My wife and I will each have the $750 exemption for the amount of time we will be down there. If I spent $2200 on a new machine (fictitious number), does this mean I can deduct my $750 from it, and only pay the taxes (whatever they are) on the $1450 difference?

Can I combine our two $750, and only pay the taxes (whatever they may be) on the $700 difference?

Cheers all, thanks for the help!

James
 

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I don't think you could combine the allowance. I do believe you would be able to pay taxes on 2500 - 750... not 100% sure, but I think this is how it would work.

You owuld pay both taxes and duty if there was duty on it. Check the Border Agency website for information on duty.
 

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Not sure where I saw it but I remember reading something a couple months ago about Canada having the cheapest apple hardware anywhere in the world.

We pay at least 5-10 less for iPods after exchange so it would be even more with a mac.

In my opinion you should buy it here and give your tax dollars to your own country and not George Bush.
 

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I did it last fall with my MacBook Pro 17". I was down there for a week, bought the MBP, and took advantage of my $750 exemption. What they do is convert US to Canadian $, then subtract your exemption (you cannot combine exemptions for the same item), then charge you GST and PST on the remaining amount. After all was said and done, I ended up saving a few hundred dollars, nothing significant. Don't know if the strengthened Canadian dollar makes this worthwhile or not.
 

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Honestly....I would just take it out of the packaging and then say its yours and you took it down for a family trip.

That way you dont pay anything.
And, when you are unable to offer any proof at all that you took it down w/ you (like registering it at Canadian customs on the way down), they confiscate your brand spanking new hardware.

Brilliant!

(And crooks wonder why they get caught...)
 

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I knew I had read this somewhere.

http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/salespolicies.html

U.S. SALES ONLY
The Apple Store sells and ships products only within the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. No shipments can be made to APO or FPO addresses, United States territories, or addresses outside the United States. You may not export any products purchased at the Apple Store.
Margaret
 

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And, when you are unable to offer any proof at all that you took it down w/ you (like registering it at Canadian customs on the way down), they confiscate your brand spanking new hardware.

Brilliant!

(And crooks wonder why they get caught...)
Although I agree smuggling is a BAD idea. I would severely doubt they would question a laptop, I travel all the time and they don't ask and I never register my camera equipment or laptop.
 

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Although I agree smuggling is a BAD idea. I would severely doubt they would question a laptop, I travel all the time and they don't ask and I never register my camera equipment or laptop.
I can't afford to find out. I frequently travel stateside w/ $20K+ of photography & computer equipment. Absolutely everything over $100 is registered.
 

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I'm not sure if there are any duties on computer equipment.

Last month I ordered a pair of Golf Shoes from the Chicago Blackhawks Charities and I got dinged for the usual sales taxes and brokerage fees AND I think it was $30 or so of duties. If I remember correctly there are duties to protect what is left of the Canadian show manufacturing industry.

Next time I'll just have them shipped to a UPS office in Buffalo and go down and pick them up myself. Golf shoes I would bring across. A $2000+ laptop I would never cross without registering it with Canadian customs first. If you try to bring it back without proof of purchase in Canada I agree and support Canadian Customs seizing the laptop on you.
 

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There are no duties on electronics (in contrast to clothing). Technically you are supposed to pay PST and GST for purchases made in the US with (if I recall) a $750 exemption for stay longer than ?7days.

And no one will confiscate your hardware if you come across the border and without declaring. They get to decide on the value if they think it has been purchased while you were away (as they can choose to do with anything that has not been registered) and you get dinged for that there and then.
 

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That is the base rate, the actual rate we pay is about 4% higher.
I don't know what you're responding to here since you just quoted my name, but any figures I quoted are not "base rate".

I did quote the current rates of exchange for yesterday and I took my money to the bank to exchange it, that's what I would get.

Maybe you need a different bank?

Margaret
 

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Not sure where I saw it but I remember reading something a couple months ago about Canada having the cheapest apple hardware anywhere in the world.
I don't know how true that is.

I'm in the market for a black Macbook. The US Apple Store lists them at $1499.00 whereas the Canadian Apple Store lists them for $1649.00. When you do the conversion on the US price (I use xe.com which shows the Canuck buck at 0.94175 today) You're looking at $1592.44CDN. Not to mention the sales tax in San Fran at 8% is just over half of what one would pay in Ontario.

So, $1499USD plus San Fran tax is $1618.92USD which is $1719.85CDN
$1649CDN plus Ontario tax is $1879.86CDN

A difference of $160.01CDN.

Granted, that's not a huge savings but would cover some of your Applecare cost, no?
 

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If you intend to buy with your credit card, check with the issuer about their exchange rate. I had a Visa a few years back that gave a horrible exchange rate. I didn't learn that until I had ordered something from the States and saw the rate later on my credit card bill, it was 10% worse than the going rate.
 
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