shopping while on vacation

db89

O.G.
Feb 20, 2006
3,880
54
I have been reading and seeing how people what type of bags people were buying while on vacation.
I look at is as a gift/souvenir to myself. I have not travelled to Europe for 20+ years but a colleague had asked
me a an interesting question a while back.. Let say I bought a bag ($2000) to bring home.. I do all the proper
paper work involving VAT .. BUT since allowable shopping amount is only 800.00 during the trip, I would have to pay taxes on the excess amount (2000-800)?? is this correct ?.. how do I calculate this amount?? what would be the taxes ? where/when do I pay this?
thx for all the info here.
 

fabuleux

STAND UP
Aug 3, 2014
19,157
39,088
I have been reading and seeing how people what type of bags people were buying while on vacation.
I look at is as a gift/souvenir to myself. I have not travelled to Europe for 20+ years but a colleague had asked
me a an interesting question a while back.. Let say I bought a bag ($2000) to bring home.. I do all the proper
paper work involving VAT .. BUT since allowable shopping amount is only 800.00 during the trip, I would have to pay taxes on the excess amount (2000-800)?? is this correct ?.. how do I calculate this amount?? what would be the taxes ? where/when do I pay this?
thx for all the info here.
99.9% of travelers coming home to the US after a trip abroad don't declare their luxury purchases and walk right through customs, even if it exceeds the allowed amount.
 
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db89

O.G.
Feb 20, 2006
3,880
54
thanks for this info.
i remember in the past , i had to fill in a card as to the amount we were bringing in..
i really appreciate the insight and always learning on this sight !
 

HavLab

Member
Feb 25, 2015
875
868
If you are traveling with someone you can combine your $800.

Most airports now have a kiosk where you answer the questions versus filling out a form. If you are over the exemption ($800 for one person, $1,600 for two etc) then you will be asked to see an agent. They will either waive you through or calculate an amount you should pay.

I have read recently on the forum of some cases where it appears that customs agents in other countries communicate with US customs.
 

snibor

O.G.
Nov 12, 2006
8,404
9,798
Someone on the Hermes forum (obviously much more expensive) didn't declare and they were later contacted when they got home.
 

bakeacookie

Member
Nov 2, 2008
25,031
19,879
SoCal
I have been reading and seeing how people what type of bags people were buying while on vacation.
I look at is as a gift/souvenir to myself. I have not travelled to Europe for 20+ years but a colleague had asked
me a an interesting question a while back.. Let say I bought a bag ($2000) to bring home.. I do all the proper
paper work involving VAT .. BUT since allowable shopping amount is only 800.00 during the trip, I would have to pay taxes on the excess amount (2000-800)?? is this correct ?.. how do I calculate this amount?? what would be the taxes ? where/when do I pay this?
thx for all the info here.
You would dedicate the VAT amount from the total. That will be the value you declare on the bag. So say it is $2000.

Then you get $800 free.

If you are charged it's the $2000-800= $1200 can be charged a customs fee. For handbags it's 9%.

If you travel with family, you can combine your $800 allowances.

Most of the time, people are waved through.

I declare because I don't want to be tracked and searched, which they can do if they see you are not declaring.

From the 3 times I flew from England, I declared each time. I spent near $8000 every time, and I only paid customs once on a watch. And it was around $100, which I didn't mind as I still saved a lot more buying abroad than here with sales tax.
 

snibor

O.G.
Nov 12, 2006
8,404
9,798
You would dedicate the VAT amount from the total. That will be the value you declare on the bag. So say it is $2000.

Then you get $800 free.

If you are charged it's the $2000-800= $1200 can be charged a customs fee. For handbags it's 9%.

If you travel with family, you can combine your $800 allowances.

Most of the time, people are waved through.

I declare because I don't want to be tracked and searched, which they can do if they see you are not declaring.

From the 3 times I flew from England, I declared each time. I spent near $8000 every time, and I only paid customs once on a watch. And it was around $100, which I didn't mind as I still saved a lot more buying abroad than here with sales tax.
So if I travel with one family member and I buy a bag, if the bag is $1,600 or less, I do not have to declare? Is that correct?
 

FunBagz

Member
Apr 15, 2015
2,293
4,571
Sunny Florida
The amount of your VAT Refund is deducted from the amount you declare with US Customs.

First $800 ($1600 for couples) is exempt from US Customs Tax.
Next $1,000 ($2,000 for couples) is taxed at a flat 3% rate.
Any amount over $1,000 ($2,000 for couples) is taxed at a 6% rate for handbags/leather goods (this tax rate varies depending on the merchandise).
 

snibor

O.G.
Nov 12, 2006
8,404
9,798
The amount of your VAT Refund is deducted from the amount you declare with US Customs.

First $800 ($1600 for couples) is exempt from US Customs Tax.
Next $1,000 ($2,000 for couples) is taxed at a flat 3% rate.
Any amount over $1,000 ($2,000 for couples) is taxed at a 6% rate for handbags/leather goods (this tax rate varies depending on the merchandise).
Hmm. Thanks! Now I'm not clear when you say couple as opposed to family. I will take a look at language. But I generally understand equation. Thanks!
 

db89

O.G.
Feb 20, 2006
3,880
54
thanks for all the input here .. I was just wondering what is the tax rate they will charge on the over allowable limit... as we all know the prices of LV... anyone can easily go over the allowed limit even for one item !
 

luvlux64

Work Hard, Play Harder ❤️
Jan 28, 2017
1,069
9,417
Toronto
thanks for all the input here .. I was just wondering what is the tax rate they will charge on the over allowable limit... as we all know the prices of LV... anyone can easily go over the allowed limit even for one item !
It's based on the Sales Tax of your State.
 

Lovefour

Member
Aug 1, 2012
559
74
Just got back from Spain and saved quite a bit on a bag! I wrote down 1000.00 Us dollars and when I went through customs in newark they said enjoy the bag!
 
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