Import duty on guitar from Japan question

Tokai guitar discussion

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sneakyjapan
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Post by sneakyjapan » Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:48 pm

yes I know shops here will not write them up as gifts and I wasn`t suggesting any members commit fraud, just saying in my case they are gifts and thats why I do things that way.    

TSL
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Post by TSL » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:46 pm

Hey Sneaky, didn't mean for anyone to interpet your shipping as fraud (despite your name here :wink: ). I was not posting as a response to your actions. It appears you are a personal collector, and not a store.

I have however, heard of people trying to get stores to help them avoid fees though, and while I understand thriftiness, that is asking more than is appropriate.

If I were in another country, and bought a guitar there, I assume having to pay that countries' tax, in which case I would consider shipping it to myself as a "gift". One should not have to pay tax in one country, and then pay tax to bring it home as well. That is "global village" thinking, but seems rational to me.

I don't think you can pay for an instrument in a store in person, even if they are shipping it to you abroad, and not pay tax. I suppose you could select an instrument in a store, walk outside, call them and place a phone/internet order, with shipping instructions to another country, and avoid paying tax to the store's country, yet pay shipping, and ultimately duty in the destination country. I am no expert on international law, but that would seem to make sense for record keeping, and taxes.

If taxes are fair or not in any given country is a huge can of worms that I hope no one will open replying to this otherwise innocent thread.
:)

sneakyjapan
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Post by sneakyjapan » Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:53 am

when I came to Japan sales tax was 3%. They increased it to 5%... and the economy took a nose dive...people stopped spending. When I left Canada to come here, sales tax in Quebec was...7% provncial then the federal took 8% of that total... so I`m quite happy to pay 5%...however, after the current prime minister retires next month, whoever gets the job after him with have to face raising sales tax again...just as the economy is getting back on it`s feet...good thing we have those clever guys running countries eh?... and theres talk in the media of the sales tax going up to 10%. We shall see.

magentaplacenta
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Post by magentaplacenta » Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:33 pm

How did you emmigrate to Japan? Do you have dual citizenship?

Diodibuh
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Post by Diodibuh » Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:27 pm

Well I bought several guitars and other stuff from all over the world
I live in Slovenia, part of EU and goes like this:

guitar price (let's say in states)= 1000 $
postage: 80 $
customs= guitar+postage=1080 * 3,75% =1120, 50
tax= all tohether*20%= 1344,60 USD

if you write gift, the customs don't care at all, you have to pay customs and tax. you need a proof how much this thing is worth - a receipt. otherwise they just look the price in catalog and they charge you.

sneakyjapan
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Post by sneakyjapan » Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:51 pm

the Japanese don`t have dual citizenship, I married a Japanese girl. Took 13 years to get my permanent visa which only means I don`t have to get a re-entry visa every time I leave the country...still can`t vote though. I am approaching to the end of my time here with any luck at all, this will be my final Christmas in Japan, still never say never but I do need to get back among my own.

Bill Morgan
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Post by Bill Morgan » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:09 am

sneakyjapan wrote:the Japanese don`t have dual citizenship, I married a Japanese girl. Took 13 years to get my permanent visa which only means I don`t have to get a re-entry visa every time I leave the country...still can`t vote though. I am approaching to the end of my time here with any luck at all, this will be my final Christmas in Japan, still never say never but I do need to get back among my own.
Don't mean to contradict you, but I'm pretty sure a reentry permit is required even if you have permanent residency, as I also do. As I understand it, if you leave the country without a reentry permit, you automatically forfeit your visa.

Incidentally, if you have been paying nenkin here, you can get a lump-sum payment when you leave the country. But you probably already know that.

Bill

sneakyjapan
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Post by sneakyjapan » Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:35 am

the next time I leave Japan will be my last time...and I`m just repeating what I was told by immigration... one would assume they knew what they were talking about eh, still they`ve made mistakes before with me and going to that office is not one of my favorite things to do so when I got the visa a couple of months ago I didn`t stick around to debate it with them, I said thanks a lot and left. I guess I could do a search but I`ll wait till it`s time to go for good then enquire.

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Post by bunbury » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:09 am

Hi Sneaky, In Europe the sales tax VAT (17.5%) is refundable on exports (or not charged in the first place). Can that 5% Japanese tax be recovered?

Less seriously, duty-exempt presents are not the only option. There's a huge VAT fraud running here that's worth about $10 billion a year. People import and then re-export and then re-import (etc etc) the same load of fictional goods and claim back the VAT every time they cross the border. It's called the "Carousel".

I'd suggest you ship me two hundred 1978 Reborn 120s just so that I can send them back to you, but maybe the VAT Office here is full of Tokai enthusiasts reading this site! :wink:

sneakyjapan
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Post by sneakyjapan » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:52 am

don`t know about recovering the Japanese sales tax. I know in Canada some provinces offer a refund to tourists who provide receipts etc... but not all provinces and only for the provincial sales tax...not the federal. hey...we may be the second biggest country in the world but not the second richest.
The Canadian gov`t takes as big a bite as they can and will not regurgitate a single shekel.
No idea how we got into the G8...must have been hard up for members or something.

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Post by Innadaze » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:42 pm

Interesting thread (and the related ones as well). Although it's been awhile since I've lived full-time overseas (both Japan and Britain). Duty this, Duty that, VAT and all that crap were always a hassle and varied a lot depending on how stuff was brought in or out.

These days, here in LA, it seems like everything I bring in from Japan or Australia takes about a day, arrives pristine and costs me less than it would've if I'd bought it in Japan in person (they subtract the local sales tax). The items I get from Europe seem to fall into some kind of limbo, are nearly untraceable, have huge hidden charges when they do arrive and the package always looks like it's been a play-toy for a gorilla in addition to be ripped open, ransacked and taped back together with this hideous green (red would be more appropriate) tape. Customs is brutal coming from the UK to the US. From Japan it doesn't seem to exist. Must be the times.

Nothing I can do about any of this if I want stuff from overseas but it does seem that the less anything is handled (lost, mutilated, stolen, etc.) by the US Postal Service or other governmental entity, the better my experience is.

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