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Thread: Cross-border shopping this weekend? Duty and tax?

  1. #1
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    We went to the states today and bought $180 worth of kids clothes, I know NOW that if we are there less than 24hrs, we have to pay duty and tax on everything we bring back, (I thought we have $50/person for the exemptions, I'm totally wrong).

    I'm not really ranting, just a little upset. we go there every 2 months or so, never had this happen, we usually spend around $200, no problem at all before.

    There was a huge line-up of ppl paying for the tax and duty at the border crossing today, I'm wondering what's going on. I'm afraid to go back there anytime soon.

    what do I do next time? try to stay for more than 24hrs? but hotels aren't cheap, or just deal with it and pay? in the end today, after my $65 tax and duty, and $45 on gas, I don't know if I'm saving any money.

    Any suggestions anyone? Thank you in advance.
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    Smart Canuck anastasia1009's Avatar
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    Less than 24 hours: No allowances and exemptions can be claimed.
    24 hours > 48 hours: You may bring in up to C$50 of goods free of duty and taxes. However, there is no exemption for Alcohol and Tobacco. As of mid June up to $200.00. But if you buy food and things made in USA you can bring things over.
    its a holiday is the states are they are trying to catch people.
    babyluck and bmpsmommy like this.

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    Hooked! slayer_glade's Avatar
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    Could be they're upping their take due to the holiday. The fact that's it's gonna be $200 in a few days doesn't help either. They want to claim as much as they can most likely.

    Sorry that you had a bad experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anastasia1009 View Post
    Less than 24 hours: No allowances and exemptions can be claimed.
    24 hours > 48 hours: You may bring in up to C$50 of goods free of duty and taxes. However, there is no exemption for Alcohol and Tobacco. As of mid June up to $200.00. But if you buy food and things made in USA you can bring things over.
    its a holiday is the states are they are trying to catch people.
    I guess it was bad timing after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slayer_glade View Post
    Could be they're upping their take due to the holiday. The fact that's it's gonna be $200 in a few days doesn't help either. They want to claim as much as they can most likely.

    Sorry that you had a bad experience.

    I had no idea it's a holiday weekend in the states, I will have to do my research next time I go. Thanks for explaining, I feel better now knowing what to avoid next time.

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    They are probably trying to get as many people as they can before the law changes to $200
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    I really think it is just luck of the draw somtimes. Ive had $500 worth of clothing/toys/house items and not had to pay, but been pulled in for $40. Sorry you had to pay
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    Smart Canuck Minou's Avatar
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    Yeah, it can be luck of the draw. $65 seems pretty high for that amount, though... When I've had to pay, it's usually just been the tax. they must have been really careful to get you with duties. Were shoes part of that amount? I think shoes can have a duty of something like 30%.
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    Frosh Canuck atashi's Avatar
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    It's just luck. There's nothing you could avoid I guess. I've brought over $400 of stuff and never got caught but last time when we came across a grumpy female officer, we were pulled over bring something that's $105.

    If you would like to avoid duty, just look for things made in USA and maybe Mexico (?). No duty on products made in USA and it's only tax.
    babyluck likes this.

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    Mastermind Shwa Girl's Avatar
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    Since there were so many people paying duty the same time as you, sounds like they were trying to meet a quota.
    Kinda mean, I'm thinking -- just before the June 1 increase in exemption to $200/24 hrs and $800/48 hrs.
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    CaLoonie glamorousgirl's Avatar
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    I didn't think there was duty on kids clothes, I have never paid duty on kids clothes, and I have paid a lot in duty. Did they know that were children's?
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    Junior Canuck couponmamaof03's Avatar
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    I was told kids clothing and food you don't pay duty.
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    Yes I thought kids clothing and food is duty free too.
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    Smart Canuck SavenRaven's Avatar
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    I am always prepared to pay the 17% duty on clothing and 13% taxes when shopping in the USA. I just add 30% to the price of the item and if its still a good deal, I buy it.

    It all depends on the Individual customs officer. I've shopped several times and have never been charged at the border. Once I was going to pick up 2 flower girl dresses and a pair of shoes I had ordered from Davids Bridal, was in the US for only 25mins total and when I showed my receipt (over $650) at the border, the officer just said "have a good night" and waved us through.
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    Ouch, that's too bad when you weren't expecting it. I think it depends on who and what.
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