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tax refund at airport

Travel Forums North America tax refund at airport

1. Posted by zedpeeem (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I was just wondering, I'm traveling to America next month from Australia and have a dutyfree/tax refund question.

Can I purchase something then claim the tax back at the airport? I am able to do so if i purchase an item within 30 days travel in Australia but certain items aren't available here or are much cheaper in the US.

Thanks :)

2. Posted by kevandshan (Full Member 142 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I'm not aware of any tax claim back system here.

Having said that, we don't get taxed anywhere near as much as they do in Australia. You will probably find that whatever you are buying in the States will still be cheaper than buying in Australia after getting any tax back?

Eg Bottle spirits ($12 in supermarket....duty free in Aus $35???)

3. Posted by zedpeeem (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks :)
Yeah you are right, most items I've checked out are still cheaper in the US than here minus the tax.

Another quick question, I know sales tax varies from state to state, is that generally included in the marked price? or is that something that gets added on?

4. Posted by kevandshan (Full Member 142 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Depends where you are.....not just within States...but within counties!

California has taxes between 7.25-10% depending where you are. So you could be in San Diego and pay 8%, then drive a couple blocks and pay 10%.....crazy....

This is normally added to the price, some places have it included, but it is normal for it to be added to the advertised price (so if you see a burger for 99c, it will be more like 1.09).

If in doubt just ask prior to purchase.


If you're looking for electronics, try Fry's or Best Buy....Costco is good for everything but you need to be a member (cost $50).

Clothes, try JC Penny (they're always having sales), or you can try use-by places like TJ Maxx or Burlington Coat Factory, where department stores send their unwanted or unsold stock (can get top brand jeans for $20). CK, Levi, Nautica jeans can find anywhere for around $20-30.


5. Posted by zedpeeem (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

hahaha, sounds like i'll have fun with that!
So between adding on estimated taxes and tips i think my phone calculator may get a worthy workout.
Ah well, all part of the fun of traveling!
Thanks for the tips! I've hear of some of those names before, but mostly in passing pop culture references.

I am very excited, first time in America on my own! (without any parents that is)
Last time I went I was probably 10...

6. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Also, sometimes the sales tax is charged on certain items only. For example, there is no sales tax on clothing in New Jersey (to encourage New Yorkers to cross the Hudson river and buy in New Jersey instead), and sometimes the tax is charged before the item is sold (for example, all gasoline (petrol) is priced with the tax already included--and some things have extra taxes that the federal will charge an "excise tax" on, for example, automobile and truck tires have an extra "federal excise" tax in order to pay for their environmental disposal after their useful life is over.

It is all very confusing--and even more so for those who have to file the tax returns--and who need help from a firm that keeps track of the rates for every county.

P.S. Right now, there is no tax on anything sold over in the US over the internet--although they have debated changing this law for years now.


7. Posted by zedpeeem (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

sounds like I'm definitely going to have to add an imaginary 10% onto everything to avoid any embarrassing situations. Patting down every pocket to find a few extra coins with a long line of hungry people is never fun.

Thanks for the heads up!

No offense, but you guys have one crazy country! Still can't wait though, 16 days left!!!!