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Tax Refund for US Imported Smartphone

Trying to buy in US, send to Sweden, then return

tedinorbit
post 21.Sep.2013, 08:41 PM
Post #1
Joined: 21.Sep.2013

Hej,

I am currently in Sweden doing a semester abroad from the US. I would like to buy a Nexus 5 when it comes out next month to my parents address in the US and have them ship it to me. I know there is an import fee for shipping such a good into Sweden but I was wondering if I would be able to get a refund on that fee when I return home to the US in January. Like is it possible to bring the device and the receipt for the device with a tax refund request to the airport and get a tax refund?

Thanks,
Todd
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olga118
post 21.Sep.2013, 10:00 PM
Post #2
Joined: 27.Jan.2012

Have them ship it to you with a couple of clothing items and call them "personal belongings" or "gift". I have never had to pay tax on items delivered this way.
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tedinorbit
post 23.Sep.2013, 02:12 PM
Post #3
Joined: 21.Sep.2013

Okay but did you put a customs form on the package and if so what did you say was inside? Was there anything you should have had to pay tax on?
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Marmi
post 23.Sep.2013, 05:13 PM
Post #4
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 8.Nov.2005

Yes, a custom form has to be filled out, and the actual (or if you prefer, made up) value of the goods in the package has to be put on it.

I often ship packages from the US to Sweden, and I do fib about the contents of the package so that the receiver doesn't have to pay Swedish tax on it. Keep in mind that gifts are not excluded from taxing. Each and every recipient is allowed goods up to around 500 SEK taxfree, including gifts. The way I get around that is that I write a lot of names on the custom forms (all members of my brother's family), even if the package is for just one person. I also often downwrite the value of items, which can be risky if the package gets lost, bust so far everything has arrived without problems, and without being taxed.

Tell your parents to make up a care package for you, pack some candy and other light stuff with the phone, and just fill out the customs form with all the other items, excluding the phone. They could also add a couple of names (like all your middle names, with commas in between) It's risky, but the only way you'll get away from paying tax and duty on it.

OR just wait til you get back to the US.
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Marmi
post 23.Sep.2013, 05:15 PM
Post #5
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 8.Nov.2005

Oh, forgot to add that there is no way for you to get a tax refund if you opt to have the phone sent to you and end up having to pay tax and duty on the package.
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olga118
post 23.Sep.2013, 08:57 PM
Post #6
Joined: 27.Jan.2012

The Post office will ask whoever ships it what is in it and it is insured for about $300 by the PO for no extra charge.
Have your family remove the packaging (the warranty may not be valid in Sweden anyway if it was purchased in the USA. Be sure to check because my Kindle isn't covered in Sweden) and add a few clothing items and tell them PO it is personal belongings.
It is the Post Office who puts the label on, not the person who ships it.
I made the mistake of shipping personal items and itemized them as "bedding" etc and got charged taxes. I complained and they gave me my money back.
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tedinorbit
post 24.Sep.2013, 02:43 PM
Post #7
Joined: 21.Sep.2013

Okay and what are the consequences if I don't list the phone among the items and they find it? Do i just pay duty on it regardless?
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Marmi
post 24.Sep.2013, 04:54 PM
Post #8
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 8.Nov.2005

Since it has never happened to anyone receiving my packages, I don't know, but I can't imagine there being any other "punishment" than that you'd have to pay tax and duty on it. smile.gif
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