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Seeking wisdom regarding purchases over the border

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Jason5555

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#1
Hello and thanks for any wisdom you can share. I'm about 20 minutes from the Canadian border and I'm curoious if anyone has any experience with customs and the challenges of bringing machinery/tools back over the border. I'm assuming I'll get hit twice on taxes but anything else I should be aware of or prepare for? I hear things are a bit more strict at the border now that Canada made a flipping plant that grows from the ground legal, so I certainly hope they don't tear about items in their search. Thanks again taking time to read/respond.
 

Downwindtracker2

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You may be able to recover the taxes, provincial and federal, you may have to submit afterwards, though. When I purchased a quad in the Washington state I was able fill out a form that exempted me from the state tax. Though no such luck at Grizzly for parts. It annoys me to pay tax on tax going north.

It may be legal, but good luck finding a store.
 

NoobCanuk

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I know living in Saskatchewan and having family in Alberta I have on rare occassions had a receipt or empty box mailed to Alberta and avoided provincial sales taxes. But you should be able to either recover both taxes somehow. Normally businesses love selling stuff and some places may be able to help you out in not paying the taxes outright or recovering them. I know the USA border will be more paranoid about the above mentioned plant being with you as you cross the border and less worried about machinery or tools. I would very strongly suggest though you keep a very clear easy to read receipt for any purchases at hand. Nothing like border guards assuming you are smuggling stolen goods. Most border guards are decent but you get the wrong guy on a bad day and no receipt may mean he seizes it or greatly delays you.

Now that I think about it maybe try calling Canadas border security or when you enter talk to them and ask them your questions as you enter. They may have forms for you to claim back taxes or avoid them all together. Might help.
 

Jason5555

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Thank you very much for the shared wisdom, I greatly appreciate it. My concern does center in coming back over the border. Reaching out does sound like a good idea as I'd hate any surprises after I've already paid for something.
 

DavidMTL

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Hi Jason,

Ignore the pot issue. It's been legal in California and Washington long than it has up here.

As for tools and machinery it's kind of complicated. Iirc there's a new tax on Chinese stuff in the states so you might get hit for that. After that the US applies quota's for some items. If the quota is met nothing else can come in for the rest of the month/quarter/year. If you're planing a big purchase stop at US customs first and make sure you can bring it home.

Most big cities have a Tourist Center. You can usually apply for a refund on your taxes there and also at Canada Customs on the way home I think ( call/email to make sure ).

Check with your bank what kind of extra fee's you get charged on your credit/debit card. Otherwise you're looking at @ 30% savings atm.

Boxing Day ( Dec. 26'th ) is our next big shopping day.
 

Downwindtracker2

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For exchange , their is the official rate, then there is the one us little guys get, it's called the buy-sell. About 2 or 3% .
 

pontiac428

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Since it sounds like you plan to buy in Canada and live in the US, I would recommend looking at the Customs and Border Protection web site for taxation info. It might not be as bad as you think. I lived overseas for over a decade, and can count the items that US Customs cared about on one finger (it was a car, I paid about $300 on it to the STATE). Unless you are buying factory-new capital equipment, they'll probably just wave you through.
 

MarkM

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I am in Canada and have bought my lathe, mill and most of the stuff in my shop from the U.S. I registered myself as a business allowed to make under 30 000$ and not have to collect our gst tax from customers. It saves me 10% tax being registered as a business on my purchases. I have had no issues whatsoever. I am a mile from the U.S. Border so it is my best option.
Not sure how things work in your neck of the woods but may be worth looking into before purchase.
 

Downwindtracker2

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I just thought of something. When using your credit card , tell them before hand that you are purchasing out of country, otherwise to prevent fraudulent use they may decline. US banks don't do foreign transactions much, so use a credit card company.
 

Jason5555

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That is correct and my apologies for not making that clear, but I am from the states and want to broaden my search area into Canada. I'm about 20min out from Buffalo, NY which has the Peace Bridge. I'll definelty keep doing my research and I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences.
 

Downwindtracker2

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Yeah, the pickings on CL in Seattle are so much more interesting. I live 27 blocks off the border and 5 minutes from a border crossing. Old iron doesn't seem to interest customs much.
 

Sblack

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#12
google is your friend. Search for the Canada Revenue Agency and something like recovering sales tax. No need to guess in this day and age. Anyway, if you do pay Cdn taxes, you are only paying in Canadian Pesos. It's not like real money.
 
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