I am about to buy two Mac accessories in the Apple Store in Manhattan which cost a total of $98 before tax.

I would like to get a refund for the tax before I get back to Europe.

My question is what should I ask from the cashier in the Apple Store, and what should I do in the Newark/JFK airport.

I found a post on TripAdvisor, but it is a bit ambivalent.


Technically you could claim a Sales Tax Refund from New York State. To do that you need to fill out AU-11 form in which you can claim refund for goods you are taking out of state. And mail it to the state. Problem is that under NY law you likely won't qualify for a refund and on top of this they can only return NY State Portion which is 4%. So if you want the hassle over $4 then by all means.

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    The form you linked for is for those exempt from sales tax, not tourists. – littleadv May 29 '12 at 0:12
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    @littleadv The only thing that you may have to claim that this was not for the personal use but for business use outside the US. And who says that it isn't. – Karlson May 29 '12 at 14:28
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    So you suggest lying? Oh, why didn't you say so! Of course lying to get a tax refund is a way to go, ask Al Capone, worked well, for him! – littleadv May 29 '12 at 16:42
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    @littleadv A visitor can purchase equipment that will be used for a business purpose outside the United States. Why is that lying? – Karlson May 29 '12 at 21:40
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    @MarkMayo I would expect it to be explicitly told in the answer that this form is only for exempted entities/individuals. I'm afraid people who aren't familiar with the US and NY laws might read the answer as is, submit the form, and get into a lot of troubles. – littleadv May 30 '12 at 0:07

To the best of my knowledge, New York State does not offer a refund of sales tax on purchases that are later taken outside the state or country. Except for the North Dakota and Louisiana programs mentioned in the link you give, I have never heard of such refunds existing anywhere in the U.S.

I think you just have to pay it.

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  • The North Dakota program is still in place, but only applies to Canadian residents. Washington has a plan to refund sales tax as well, but you must live in a jurisdiction with a lower tax rate, e.g. Alberta. – Jim MacKenzie Feb 23 '18 at 2:24

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