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4 Simple Steps To Get a Tax Refund on Your US Purchases

November 23, 2015 - Posted By shipporter

Shipping from US to Australia

So you’ve bought something in America and want to get it shipped to Australia. Because the Shipporter warehouse is located in California, all USA imports and purchases make their first stop there.

However, under CA law if the delivery is to a CA address, then the supplier is obliged to charge the customer 8.5% CA sales tax, even if the order is ultimately for export. For large orders the sales tax can be substantial, likely deterring many customers from proceeding with the purchase.

The good news is, most mainstream suppliers are prepared to refund the CA sales tax on receipt of proof of export, thus saving the customer money and making marginal purchases worthwhile.

How to save when importing to Australia

USA imports in Australia

CA sales tax is often the deal breaker with order from US suppliers/merchants, but if you follow the steps laid out below, you should be able to get it refunded.

The solution? Get a sales tax refund from the supplier by showing proof of export.

The process is as follows:

  1. You place the order to the supplier and nominate Shipporter’s export warehouse in Los Angeles as the delivery address.
  2. Supplier responds with an order confirmation, which includes CA sales tax.
  3. After the order has been exported, Shipporter can provide you with a proof of export by completing a formal bill of lading identifying the supplier, the customer and the specifics of the order.
  4. You can contact the supplier, provide the bill of lading/proof of export and request a refund for the CA sales tax.

The savings add up

Since the CA sales tax is approximately 8.5% of the total invoice value, the sales tax can be a significant amount, especially for high value orders. When importing to Australia, this can often be the difference that determines the viability of the order.

While we can’t guarantee that the supplier will action the request, we have had good success with major suppliers such as Restoration Hardware, Design Within Reach, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma when getting a sales tax refund on USA imports.

Please note that Shipporter only facilitates the tax refund by provision of the proof of export and does not take an active role in the process.

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