Requests to falsify customs forms (1 Viewer)

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BGinGA

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My wife's an artist and started doing some pet portrait commissions for fun. Once we found out about the (Texas) sales tax requirements, and reporting needs it went from fun to a huge PITA. She still has to report sales tax every couple months even though the value is zero (she hasn't done one in a year).

She also got Square - makes life so much easier for everyone even though they take a chunk in fees.
After filing $0/exempt quarterly reports in GA for years, we finally asked for -- and received -- a sales tax exempt status for our small business, which is services-only based with no merchandise sales. Dunno if you could do the same in Texas, but worth the effort imo.

Just change your business model to one where a) the customer hires your wife as an independent contractor to paint portraits of their pet, then b) display photos of the portraits on your web site (good advertising), and c) sell non-transferrable rights to copy and print the photos for a nominal fee. Give away the actual portrait for free to those that do.

No sales tax on services -- you're not selling a product. They're paying her to paint and take photos.
 

RichMahogany

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I’ve always labeled overseas chip shipments as “obsolete gaming token” or “obsolete gaming cheques” which seems sufficiently vague to me.

Could be some gaming pieces from an old board game...
 

BGinGA

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As usual, BGinGA is correct here.

I'm in Delaware, where there is no sales tax. So tax = $0.00. The business is still small enough to be exempt from paying taxes to states where I don't have a physical store, which is all of them.

And (BGinGA is correct again), I don't have to pay taxes or fees to export things. None of this stuff requires an export license.

So I don't charge anyone tax. I pay tax to my state on any profits, if we make them, at the end of the year.

I actually sat for two hours yesterday with a "mentor" from the U.S. Small Business Administration. He gave me four pieces of advice:

1. Stop selling chips. You're not making money on them. (Not gonna do this.)

2. Raise prices by 50 percent on most things. (Not gonna do this.)

3. Stop selling American-made goods and find new suppliers on the websites Etsy, Alibaba and Madeinchina. (Not gonna do this.)

4. Start accepting credit cards through Square.

As of last night, we now accept credit cards.
Although I don't personally send a lot of business your way, you continue to be one of my favorite PCF vendors. :tup: :)

Now, about those semi-custom diasqr mold Key West chips with tri-moon spots.... :sneaky:
 

abby99

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US sales and use taxes vary among the states. There is no national standard. In some states (vendor states), sales taxes are imposed on the vendor, are based on sales, and may be passed along to the consumers. In other states (vendee states), the taxes are imposed on the consumer but are collected by the seller and passed along to the state. 50 states, 50 different sets of laws and regulations. There are many exceptions and exemptions, again varying by state. All this makes it difficult to generalize.

The US does not have a VAT (value added tax). Goods and services purchased by a manufacturer or equivalent are exempt from paying sales tax on the goods and services that are used in production. Our sales taxes are based on retail sales, at which point 100% of the value is taxed.

Customs fees are another topic.

Another good term to use on customs forms is non-negotiable.
 

WedgeRock

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But the individual taking the risk is basically the recipient.

Ummm....


Making a false statement on a customs form is a felony in the United States. The penalty is a gigantic fine and potential prison time. Changing the amount paid is also a violatio

...and then there's this:

The best reason for writing down the full value is that otherwise you have no claim to the true value if the package is lost or stolen.
 

Coyote

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Ummm....




...and then there's this:
Unless you explicitly and openly, as a buyer, take the risk...
Overseas chippers (ie outside the US) are accustomed to taking this risk.
Lots of courage on this (eastern) side of the Pond.:)
I know Americans are generally brave, so no need for measuring our respective bravenesses out:D
 

WedgeRock

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I get where you're coming from, @Coyote, but I'm not gonna commit a felony (and risk getting caught, which would jeopardize my livelihood) just to save the buyer some money, even 35%.

It sucks, but I'd rather lose the sale.
 

Thomacetti

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I get where you're coming from, @Coyote, but I'm not gonna commit a felony (and risk getting caught, which would jeopardize my livelihood) just to save the buyer some money, even 35%.

It sucks, but I'd rather lose the sale.

Oh man...since tax evasion is a national sport in Belgium, I feel different.

And to put things in perspective...I pay 55% tax on every dollar I earn (incl bonus)...FIFTYFIVE !
I pay $1.8 for a liter of diesel (1 gallon is almost 3.8 liter)...so $6.84 per gallon
On top of that...I pay 21% VAT on 90% of the products we need for living, a 5K/year house tax, 1K county tax, 3K yearly taxation, road tax, insurances up the ass, ...

So it's not like i'm sharing crumbs and I do get something in return, mostly an insurance since I never needed any (healthy & never without a job for the whole of my working life).

But if I could keep some from the tax man...hell yeah....my vice need funding too
 

Coyote

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Happy that I already bought whatever I needed from the Americas. :)
The rest of the (possibly endless) discussion belongs to a Law / International Law and Politics -with International History- Forum.
 

Coyote

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Oh man...since tax evasion is a national sport in Belgium,
In Greece too, among self-employed people (who, scandalously, are the majority, and this is why measures are taken to reduce them to employees ASAP), but, interestingly, only "Greeks" in general have been portrayed as lazy unter-menschen in specific northern Media. :D
 

Thomacetti

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In Greece too, among self-employed people (who, scandalously, are the majority, and this is why measures are taken to reduce them to employees ASAP), but, interestingly, only "Greeks" in general have been portrayed as lazy unter-menschen in specific northern Media. :D

Yeah....but y'all had swimming pools in the back yard and pay no taxes !!

j/k...It was a bad thing and I never supported this...solidarity is the only way, that's why I accept the high tax bracket (Belgian &/or EU)
 

dennis63

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So please understand the shitty position we international chippers/shippers are in and bare with us a bit

I agree with you 100 percent on all points. Twenty-one percent is absurd, and is clearly designed to discourage people from buying goods not made in your country, and to punish those who are not discouraged.

I really wish prices for chips and shipping were so low that none of this mattered. That's why I sell Key Wests for a price so low that another business owner just told (yesterday) I was crazy, and why I still take the time to sell to international customers.
 
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Thomacetti

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I agree with you 100 percent on all points. Twenty-one percent is absurd, and is clearly designed to discourage people from buying goods not made in your country, and to punish those who are not discouraged.

I really wish prices for chips and shipping were so low that none of this mattered. That's why I sell Key Wests for a pricr so low that another business owner just told (yesterday) I was crazy, and why I still take the time to sell to international customers.

You know this already Dennis...but you are a special one, awsome person & vendor.
Nothing but respect for all the things you do...proud owner of a 1600 chips Key West cash set :)
 

Kensco

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Somewhat applicable to this conversation:

"But the final undoing of ChipCo International came in 2015 when their president, John Kendall, was found guilty on three felony counts of theft by misapplication of withholding taxes, one felony count of conspiracy to commit tax evasion, three misdemeanor counts of failure to account for or pay over withholding tax, and one misdemeanor count of making a false statement on a state income tax return..." https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/showthread.php?14011-The-Rise-and-Fall-of-Ceramic-Casino-Chips
 

Coyote

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I get where you're coming from, @Coyote, but I'm not gonna commit a felony (and risk getting caught, which would jeopardize my livelihood) just to save the buyer some money, even 35%.

It sucks, but I'd rather lose the sale.
We have to talk in person :)
 

Thomacetti

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Update

My math was off (thanks @PrOnAddict)

So....if I buy a set of 500 clay chips @$2

=$1000 purchase
= $25 fee PP payment (now a flat fee...before 3%)
= $25 fee PP EURO/$ exchange
= $100 large flat rate box
= $230 VAT (21% on 1100)
= $35 handeling fee

So my $1000 set is costing me $395 more (+40% overhead)
 

BGinGA

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Somewhat applicable to this conversation:

"But the final undoing of ChipCo International came in 2015 when their president, John Kendall, was found guilty on three felony counts of theft by misapplication of withholding taxes, one felony count of conspiracy to commit tax evasion, three misdemeanor counts of failure to account for or pay over withholding tax, and one misdemeanor count of making a false statement on a state income tax return..." https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/showthread.php?14011-The-Rise-and-Fall-of-Ceramic-Casino-Chips
Yep. He deducted the required taxes from employee paychecks, but never paid the taxman.....
 

Perthmike

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Customs in Aus also like to take 6-12 weeks to process shipments if they think it's over the threshold. And that's before they add all of their pointless duties and extra fees.
 

dennis63

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Customs in Aus also like to take 6-12 weeks to process shipments if they think it's over the threshold. And that's before they add all of their pointless duties and extra fees.

Many good points in this thread, and much information I did not know.
 

dennis63

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Looked up the penalty today for changing the declared value or category on a customs form. It's listed in 13 U.S. Code, section 305:

FINE of up to $10,000 per violation
PRISON up to 5 years per violation
Loss of the shipment

The VAT being charged on imports by many of these governments is unfair and, frankly, ridiculous. I agree with much of what has been posted above by our international members, and I understand the tough spot they are in.

That said, I still can't change numbers on government forms and business records.
 

Saoliver

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You must have dealt with my dad...if you wouldn't do something shady for him, you were f-ing him! My super honest mechanic wouldn't pass his truck for inspection unless he replaced the tires and brakes...called him a crook!
Are we brothers? :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 

tabletalker7

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Honestly, while I understand the problems our friends from around the world have with taxes and tariffs and things of that nature, that is a problem that people need to address with their governments and not with a retailer that they want to do business with.
 

Coyote

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Honestly, while I understand the problems our friends from around the world have with taxes and tariffs and things of that nature, that is a problem that people need to address with their governments and not with a retailer that they want to do business with.
Try honestly to address first the multitude of legal, health insurance, social security, physical security, public safety, pregnancy, retirement and other issues you have with your own democratically ellected Government, if you can (because you can't) before offering lessons.
Tenderly,
Joe.:)
 

tabletalker7

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Try honestly to address first the multitude of legal, health insurance, social security, physical security, public safety, pregnancy, retirement and other issues you have with your own democratically ellected Government, if you can (because you can't) before offering lessons.
Tenderly,
Joe.:)
I never said life was perfect here - I only said a business falsifying records is not the solution to your problem. One retailer jeopardizing his future (or trying to attack me on this forum, for that matter) doesn't help you at all. Your government has caused this, and your collected voices at the polls is the only way to solve this. Trust me, no one knows better than me how bad things can be here. I don't ask someone to lie to a government official to help me. I go to the voting machine and let my vote help solve my problems.
 
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