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JimnKaren

Sales tax in port in San Diego

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Several years ago, Ft. Lauderdale instituted a sales tax on beverages purchased while the ship is in port. Does that hold for San Diego?

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Correct, we will be in San Diego until 11:00 p.m. Dinner with a bottle of wine. Will that be taxed at the local rate?

Jim

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Yes, any drinks while still in port have had sales tax on them in our experience.

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I never thought about it, but I am sure they add on sales tax on drinks onboard. CA is not one to ever miss any opportunity to tax. It wouldn't surprise me if CA demanded tax rev on meals served.

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I guess we have never left that late from a California port.

I didn't realize they charged sales tax but I guess it is logical to expect it since you are still officially in California.

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Thanks all. That tax stuff would make a $55 bottle of wine a bit more expensive. I'll take one of our carry on wines to dinner.

Jim

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Help me out.

 

You're only paying tax on beverages purchased while the ship is in port.  Usually that would be sometime up to 5 pm on sailaway day.

 

David

 

 

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I don't think you will pay CA sales tax on your wine purchased on board.  In order to collect CA sales tax the seller must be subject to having a Retail Sellers Permit issued by the State and a ship wouldn't be required to get one.  In fact, if they didn't have a Retail Sellers Permit it would be illegal for them to collect CA State sales tax.  

The ship would have to pay CA sales tax if they purchase anything in a CA port from a CA retailer.  But the ship isn't a CA retailer so they don't have to collect CA sales tax on sales.  If they did then they would have to charge and collect it for food served even if it's free.    

In fact, I don't think I pay sales tax on drinks at a land based CA bar, unless you buy food then you pay tax on the food.  The problem with charging a CA state sales tax is it would be a different amount in just about every CA port.   

There is a federal excise tax charged on all alcohol by the fed's but it's usually just built into the price of the final drink.  

 

Edited by ATSEAMYLIFE

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8 hours ago, DAllenTCY said:

Help me out. You're only paying tax on beverages purchased while the ship is in port.  Usually that would be sometime up to 5 pm on sailaway day.

 

The OP said they are in port until 11PM so it sounds like a port call, not a trip origination.

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Historically, I have always ordered the beverages to be delivered to room after ship has sailed Celebrity); Thereby avoiding the sales tax.  Don't know how HAL interprets this distinction but it seems plausible

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On 9/7/2019 at 4:26 PM, JimnKaren said:

Correct, we will be in San Diego until 11:00 p.m. Dinner with a bottle of wine. Will that be taxed at the local rate?

 

Is this a port call or the start of a trip? If a port call, I'd buy a bottle of wine on board before getting to San Diego, if you really want to avoid the taxes.

 

This assumes San Diego/CA does tax it. If FL is doing it, I can't imagine that CA isn't.

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Read this:

 

https://www.salestaxhandbook.com/california/alcohol

 

...pretty much explains how taxes are collected on alcohol in California.

Basically, there is a federal and a state tax on alcohol--which is paid by the merchant, NOT by the consumer (though the merchant pretty much incorporates the cost into the price)...and California's tax on wine is the 46th lowest of any state--20 cents per gallon--likely due to the influence of the winemaking industry in California...So you are talking about a tax of less than a penny a class--figuring on about 25 five ounce glasses per gallon...

 

Now, for restaurants, alcoholic beverages might--there's some confusing law here--also be covered by sales tax--which can vary from 7.25% to 9.5% depending on county and city...

 

But, I have never seen this applied to cruise ships still in California waters.  I am not sure how they would account for and differentiate sales made still in local waters from those outside...and, the new problem is that so many of those drinks are now covered by prepaid packages...I am, technically, always buying that package IN California--but have never paid a sales tax on the package!  And, though I have never had a really late sailaway from here, I have purchased drinks after boarding and before sailaway and do not recall ever being charged sales tax...

Edited by Bruin Steve

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Our sailaway for our 51-day Tales of the South Pacific is set for 11:00 p.m. I will assume that muster drill will be about 4:30 or so. We will arrive in San Diego a few days early to enjoy the town. It is an option to eat on shore that evening or dine on the ship. If we dine on the ship and order a bottle of wine from the list, my question was whether that would be taxed at the California rate. In Ft. Lauderdale, that is the way it is done - that went into effect a few years ago. Those sailaway drinks got to be a bit more expensive with the 6% tax added.

Jim

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I have never been charged tax on alcoholic drinks while in port in California.  

 

~Nancy

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7 hours ago, oakridger said:

I have never been charged tax on alcoholic drinks while in port in California.

 

So let's hope no one in Sacto belongs to CC and sees this topic.

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13 hours ago, oakridger said:

I have never been charged tax on alcoholic drinks while in port in California.  

 

~Nancy

And we have been charged CA tax for drinks before leaving port on every cruise we've been on. 

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I find it impossible that ports in CA will charge State sales tax.  Sales tax in CA can vary from place to place.  Sales tax in San Diego is different that LA or Santa Barbara or San Francisco.  There is no way the ships going to keep track and be able to charge the different rates. 

Bruin Steve explained it perfectly regarding the federal and state excise tax, which is actually collected at the brewery for beer.  My BFF worked for AB and InBev in charge of major accounts and there is a meter at the brewery as the beer comes out of the tank that calculates the federal and state tax.  That's paid by the brewer.  Obviously built into the price of the beer, but not charged directly to the consumer.     

I haven't sailed from a CA port in a long time so I can't really speak from personal experience.  But doubt anybody has paid CA sales tax on a beverage.  If they did then it would be on all beverages not just booze.    

Additionally, what happens in FL or TX or anyplace else has no relevance to CA.  As we all know liquor laws are strange, weird, and make no sense.  I just spent the weekend in Utah so just ask me.   I know the last time we sailed from Galveston they could only serve the Carnival draft beer for some strange reason before we sailed.    

Edited by ATSEAMYLIFE

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OK people, in order to solve this mystery, I volunteer to go to San Diego on November 30, 2019 and board the Oosterdam.  I will, at great personal sacrifice, attempt to determine if tax is truly charged on drinks in port or not.  I promise to order not one, but several (to confirm consistency), cocktails before sail away and document the tax or no tax question!  😉

 

I will post back here with the results of my research in November. 😀

 

~Nancy (your humble servant)

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2 hours ago, oakridger said:

OK people, in order to solve this mystery, I volunteer to go to San Diego on November 30, 2019 and board the Oosterdam.  I will, at great personal sacrifice, attempt to determine if tax is truly charged on drinks in port or not.  I promise to order not one, but several (to confirm consistency), cocktails before sail away and document the tax or no tax question!  😉

 

I will post back here with the results of my research in November. 😀

 

~Nancy (your humble servant)

 

You are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!

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5 minutes ago, ATSEAMYLIFE said:

 

You are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Awwww.....shucks.............😊

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3 hours ago, ATSEAMYLIFE said:

I find it impossible that ports in CA will charge State sales tax.  

 

I find it impossible that every state a professional athlete plays in, he has to file a state income tax return for that state based on what he was paid the days he played in that state.

 

But it happens.

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I just read on the Carnival board that folks were charged sales tax on drinks in NY before sail away.

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20 minutes ago, scottca075 said:

 

I find it impossible that every state a professional athlete plays in, he has to file a state income tax return for that state based on what he was paid the days he played in that state.

 

But it happens.

 

And CA charges me State income tax all though I don't live here most of the year.  To each his own.  

Edited by ATSEAMYLIFE

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