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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    120

    Default Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    Hi

    My mom lives in NYC, where the sales tax is 8.875%

    She just bought an iPhone11 over the phone from her carrier, Consumer Cellular, which she had shipped to her house. The sale w/shipping was $710, meaning the sales tax should have been $63.01. But it was actually $111, brining the total sale to $821. The customer service rep said she could not explain why the discrepancy, that "they go by what the sates mandate".

    I know that with some things, car rentals for ex., you pay not only the sales tax, but additional taxes as well. Is there something similar with cell phones, or should a cell phone be the basic state sales tax rate?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,019

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    I have no idea.

    But if it was me and I couldn't get an explanation I wouldn't buy it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,025

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    Hi

    My mom lives in NYC, where the sales tax is 8.875%

    She just bought an iPhone11 over the phone from her carrier, Consumer Cellular, which she had shipped to her house. The sale w/shipping was $710, meaning the sales tax should have been $63.01. But it was actually $111, brining the total sale to $821. The customer service rep said she could not explain why the discrepancy, that "they go by what the sates mandate".

    I know that with some things, car rentals for ex., you pay not only the sales tax, but additional taxes as well. Is there something similar with cell phones, or should a cell phone be the basic state sales tax rate?

    Thanks in advance.
    Just to be clear, what exactly does the line item say that has the sales tax on it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    This is the order:

    Apple iPhone 11 64GB
    Device $700.00
    SUBTOTAL $700.00
    EXPRESS SHIPPING $10.00
    ESTIMATED TAXES $111.41
    TOTAL $821.41

    I am open to the possibility of "Taxes" being more than just state sales tax. But what then? You would think that if it's state sales tax, plus something else, that a customer service rep would be able to give the customer a breakdown, and not just say "it's what the sates mandate".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    4,106

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    This is the order:

    Apple iPhone 11 64GB
    Device $700.00
    SUBTOTAL $700.00
    EXPRESS SHIPPING $10.00
    ESTIMATED TAXES $111.41
    TOTAL $821.41

    I am open to the possibility of "Taxes" being more than just state sales tax. But what then? You would think that if it's state sales tax, plus something else, that a customer service rep would be able to give the customer a breakdown, and not just say "it's what the sates mandate".
    I think you need to talk to someone other than the 1st level customer service rep.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,019

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    No need to talk to customer service anymore.

    According to the following site the cell phone tax for NY is 18.04%.

    https://www.wirefly.com/guides/cell-phone-tax-by-state

    Apparently includes a federal tax on the wireless service itself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,924

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    No need to talk to customer service anymore.

    According to the following site the cell phone tax for NY is 18.04%.

    https://www.wirefly.com/guides/cell-phone-tax-by-state

    Apparently includes a federal tax on the wireless service itself.
    Oddly enough, that would give an even larger amount of tax than they were charged. If you were to use the NYC sales tax in the OP plus the federal tax, it would work out to right around $110 though.
    I am the Mouse Man

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,025

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    Quote Quoting riffwraith
    View Post
    This is the order:

    Apple iPhone 11 64GB
    Device $700.00
    SUBTOTAL $700.00
    EXPRESS SHIPPING $10.00
    ESTIMATED TAXES $111.41
    TOTAL $821.41

    I am open to the possibility of "Taxes" being more than just state sales tax. But what then? You would think that if it's state sales tax, plus something else, that a customer service rep would be able to give the customer a breakdown, and not just say "it's what the sates mandate".
    I'd not be surprised that what the customer service rep has access to doesn't provide a breakdown of the taxes that are included. They likely just see the same sales receipt you have. Was this the purchase of just the phone, or was there a service contract bundled with it?

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    No need to talk to customer service anymore.

    According to the following site the cell phone tax for NY is 18.04%.

    https://www.wirefly.com/guides/cell-phone-tax-by-state

    Apparently includes a federal tax on the wireless service itself.
    Those are the taxes for wireless service, Jack, not sales tax. Thus, those are the taxes you'd generally see on a monthly cell phone service plan, for example.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4,106

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    I wonder if any amount of "free cell service" was provided when the phone was purchased? If so there could be a tax on the value of that service.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Sales Tax on Smart Phones More Than Local Tax?

    Thanks.

    No service nor contract was purchased - only the phone itself.

    As for "free cell service" provided, no I really don't think so. It would have listed that on the bill, no?


    Those are the taxes for wireless service, Jack, not sales tax. Thus, those are the taxes you'd generally see on a monthly cell phone service plan, for example.
    Right. That page says:

    Below is a list of state & local taxes and fees on monthly cell phone service.

    Quote Quoting free9man
    View Post
    If you were to use the NYC sales tax in the OP plus the federal tax, it would work out to right around $110 though.
    Federal tax? Is there a federal sales tax on cell phones? I searched:

    federal sales tax on cell phone sales

    and the like, but all of the results seem to pertain to monthly bills & charges. Or are you just going off of that page above, which does not apply here?

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