I live in Toronto, Canada. I recently returned from a trip to New York. I was away for 5 days and declared $750CAD for the purchase of a designer belt and some cosmetics. This was exactly the amount I spent while I was away. The customs officer checked my receipts and everything was fine. He proceed to check the rest of my bag. I was traveling with some designer purses (purchased in Canada) that I keep in prestine condition in their dust bags and stuffed (so they do not get squished in my luggage.) i will admit that they are in good condition, but when you pay that much for a purse you take care of it! Well, because they look new, the customs officer accused me of purchasing them while I was in New York. I was only able to show receipts for some of the bags, others were purchased a long time ago or received as a gift and i was unable to prove purchase in Canada. One of my bags in particular, was purchased in Italy two years ago. When I was asked about this specific bag, i was honest in explaining that it was purchased abroad and that I claimed $800CAD for it at the time of my travel in September 2014. He pulled up my customs form from this trip in 2014 and saw that I had only claimed $800CAD but, felt as though the bag was worth more. He charged me $172CAD in taxes valuing the bag at $1300CAD (900EURO). Unfortunately I no longer have the receipt (as it was two years ago!!) But, wondering a few questions:
Shouldn’t I have been charged the difference in the value of the bag and what i claimed at the time in September 2014? So, $1300 - $800 = $500 Tax on $500 rather than $1300?
Do i have to travel with all the receipts for every purchase i have ever made? Seems a little ridiculous!! At what point in time does the item need to be owned for me not to required a receipt? How will I know this won’t happen again for items i have purchased here that I no longer have receipts for?
This whole system seems strange... How can you charge tax on items at customs that were purchased in Canada that I’ve already paid Canadian taxes on? Or, items that you have been using for years and have passed through customs with multiple times already.