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Sales Tax Refund

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Sales Tax Refund

Hi, I am just wanting to find out if you can get the sales tax back when you leave Hawaii if you purchase a lot of items? I am from Australia and when I have travelled to other countries before I have been able to claim the tax back - some countries have price limits ie you must spend $300 in the one shop etc etc. I have been unable to find out this information on the tax website for Hawaii. Sometimes you can claim from the store direct other times you need to claim at the airport. Thanks in anticipation.

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4,366 posts
22 reviews
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1. Re: Sales Tax Refund

Nope. Come to Oregon next time. We don't have sales tax. I know that sounds like a let down.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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2. Re: Sales Tax Refund

No, we don't have VAT (value-added tax).

Anchorage, Alaska
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580 posts
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3. Re: Sales Tax Refund

ha! lol no.. Come to Anchorage Alaska..no sales tax here. Hey.. no State income tax either! Gotta love it!

Honolulu, Hawaii
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4. Re: Sales Tax Refund

No "sales tax" in Hawaii either...

Although we all know the consumer pays for all taxes in the end, the Hawaii Gross Excise Tax is levied against business activity/sales (in many ways similar to the value added concept).

The state doesn't care if the business collects it from its customers or not, just as long as they pay that 4.0% tax on all business transactions/activity (4.5% on Oahu). And since the business has to pay taxes on the tax reciepts from the customer (I know it sounds weird), businesses on the neighbor islands charge their customers a tax of 4.166% (4% plus 4% of 4%), and on Oahu 4.712% (or thereabouts).

The state has passed laws which say the tax, if passed on to customers, has to be done equitably. There were cases where locals were charged no taxes at some restaurants while tourists were charged 9% or more.

So, from the State's perspective, if you want a rebate you will have to get it from the business you made the purchase at, not them.

There aint enough tax breaks, oil subsidies or freaky governors in the world to make living in Alaska worth it.

My good friends in Homer said they had a wonderful summer last year, from August 7th through the 10th.

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24 reviews
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5. Re: Sales Tax Refund

Look at it this way: Think of the tax(that you don't get back) as an "insurance premium". If you need a police officer, one will be there free of charge. If you need the fire department to put out something of yours that's on fire or extricate you from an auto wreck, again, free of charge. So just smile and say; "thanks". Chuck...

Sydney, Australia
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643 posts
110 reviews
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6. Re: Sales Tax Refund

Onawhim, even though you don't get any money back in Hawaii, don't forget you can get your tax back on purchases made in Australia within the 30 days before you go overseas.

You probably already know that!!!! :)

Frisco, Texas
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1,594 posts
56 reviews
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7. Re: Sales Tax Refund

"There aint enough tax breaks, oil subsidies or freaky governors in the world to make living in Alaska worth it.

My good friends in Homer said they had a wonderful summer last year, from August 7th through the 10th"

THAT is funny stuff, Amberloo!!

London, United...
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152 posts
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8. Re: Sales Tax Refund

Oh HI Ms Alaska, I'm in Anchorage too :)

Edited: 30 January 2010, 09:54
Eagle River, Alaska
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9. Re: Sales Tax Refund

I think it's worth it - and I moved to Alaska from Australia !!

10. Re: Sales Tax Refund

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