US Owners is this a scam?

Hi Everyone,

I received my Planix system at the start of May and so far so good. I live in The Woodlands, Texas and this is most probaly only applicable to US purchases of the Planix system.
Yesterday I received an invoice reportedly from UPS saying that I owe them $39.23. They break it down as Govt Charges other than duties $27.23 and Brokerage Charges $12.
Is this normal? My first impression is that it was a scam.
Anyone else come across this?

I did not have this experience. I will post here if something comes through later.

That is normal. The cameras are shipped from Canada, so any importation taxes and duties (federal and local) are to be paid by the receiver. UPS pays them to the government when clearing the parcel at customs and then collects from the receiver. There are over 10,000 tax jurisdictions in the US, btw.

UPS requires receiver’s Tax ID or SSN for clearance. If it was not provided when placing an order, UPS will obtain it from the receiver which will delay clearance and may trigger additional charges, as it requires manual processing by UPS.

This is Canada’s way of retaliating for all the crap we put up with from DJT that past four years. LOL.

@Alex thanks for the clarification it was not clear and they also got the name of my business wrong on the invoice that’s what made me question it.

Tom! We are still putting up with it!

Mine shows the invoice dated May 2 but did not get to me until yesterday.

I have purchased 4 IMS-5 systems over the past couple years, first two never received a UPS bill… the last 2 I purchased I did receive a bill. This should be disclosed on the website when purchasing that buyer is responsible as it is highly annoying to pay thousands for a product and then receive a bill later saying you owe more money.

as a side note, this weekend I received a letter from CA dept of tax and fee admin saying I owe close to $550 for use tax for the two systems I bought last, again something I didn’t receive on the first two.

This really has me considering going to a different provider in the future.

Planitar cannot possibly track thousands of tax jurisdictions all over the world. It just happens that California gets a lot of media coverage, so here it is - California internet sales laws changed in Oct 2019:

It can be assumed that many other jurisdictions adjusted as well.

FYI - Igot a shock when it cost me $499AUD in taxes and custom charges to get the Planix into Australia. Something to look into before purchasing any pricey items internationally.

This link provides info on retailers in Ca that deal in tangible merchandise… a camera system that produces digital media is not tangible.

also it says " Beginning October 1, 2019, a person meeting the criteria to be a marketplace facilitator and entering into an agreement to facilitate your sales of tangible merchandise through a marketplace, such as an Internet auction site, may be the retailer. As such, the marketplace facilitator is required to collect and pay the tax on your retail sales of merchandise facilitated through their marketplace."

i’m understanding this to read that iGuide is the marketplace facilitator selling the tangible merchandise and therefore should be responsible for the tax on sales or at a minimum collecting that tax (line item on invoice).

There are certain criteria to be met in order to be considered engaged in business in California and be required to collect CA taxes. If a company does not pass the criteria, the use tax is to be paid by consumer. For more information on local regulations, a local legal advice should be sought, though.

Basically, with internet commerce many jurisdictions found reduced tax revenues and are trying to compensate by imposing use taxes.

@Expedimage I agree… I am now hesitant to purchase 2 more because of the lack of transparency and the overall experience realted to supplemental shipping bills + tax bills.

@Alex I can appreciate you trying to explain all this however I would not have purchased if I knew the ims-5 was $2999 PLUS $300-500 additional in shipping/tax. Your website is smart enough to calculate shipping based on a zip code/city/state it should be intuitive enough to list tax (as it is now your invoices say tax exempt)… if not that at a minimum a denote that says “local use tax may apply”

Our online store uses UPS API to provide shipping estimates and rates. We do not have access to local tax information. There are over 10,000 tax jurisdictions in the US alone.

Wow. Living in Canada, and being a seriously old coot, I’ve ordered things from the US and overseas for years. Some things I’ve paid (sometimes hefty) customs, tax, or brokerage fees, and sometimes nothing. It depends what it is. It depends what Canada feels they’re levying on that particular import.

Anything imported into your particular country may or may not have taxes and fees attached to it, depending on your country, state, municipality or whatever. No seller in the US or any other county has ever informed me of what that might be - they don’t live in Canada and have other customers worldwide. The most anyone has ever advised me was that, hey, you live in another country. There might be other charges levied by your country. Those amounts stay are paid to an agency in your area, not a penny of it comes back to the seller.

I empathize deeply with those having to pay this, I’ve paid a fortune over the years. But it really isn’t the seller’s responsibility, folks. It’s yours. If you’re not buying locally, there could be other charges. Your mileage may vary…

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It’s hard not to smirk as I read this thread. I’m trying not to use the word snowflake.

As a Canadian I avoid importing items from the USA whenever possible because of the high fees when it lands in Canada. Usually the only fee paid to the government is sales tax, but the couriers rip us all off by charging a large “brokerage” fee in addition to the taxes. Very often the brokerage fee is greater than the sales tax collected at the border, and often greater than the shipping fee also. I would be curious to know how much of the fees discussed in this thread are going straight into the pocket of the courier.


@michael1 trying not to use the word then typing it is the same thing, grow some balls and call us snowflakes if that’s how you feel. it’s not about being entitled or anything… i bought 4 cameras, 2 of them i received supplemental shipping bills and a huge tax bill, the other two nothing… so something is amiss. personally I think someone screwed up when checking the boxes on the shipping documents. At any rate… keep the derogatory terms to yourself.

Okay, I do apologize. I shouldn’t have said that.

I have been just as angry as you are about shipping fees/taxes many times. You may not have had this experience as often since you’re located in the US. Even when something isn’t manufactured in the US, your market is so large many companies will set up a warehouse in your country so you get domestic shipping and never have this issue. Most of us outside the US deal with it all the time.

Planitar has done nothing wrong in my opinion. The only thing they could do to help you is lie on the shipping declaration and say the value was lower.

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I am in the Netherlands. The import tax was 386 euro that is 598.39 AUD. Great.