It’s tax season. That time of the year where part of the population gathers paperwork as soon as possible to file for a refund and the rest of us put off the task until the last minute because we don’t want to see how much money we’ll owe the government. In the past, the way to pay the Internal Revenue Service was to write them a check and make sure that it was postmarked by the end of the tax deadline (April 15th, or later due to holidays or weekends). Now that many people choose to eFile their taxes, you can easily add your banking information to have your taxes due removed from your bank account. This is a fee-free option and I’m sure many people take advantage of the ease of doing this. As someone who’s always looking for a place to earn extra points and miles, I was interested when I saw that you can pay your taxes with a credit card…but with a catch.
There are many things you’ll consider when choosing which foreign country to visit but I bet one thing you usually wouldn’t think about is how much you’ll need to pay to leave the country and return home. Yep, governments have realized that an easy way to collect money from tourists (and their own residents, as well), is to charge a fee when leaving the country. Sure in some countries it’s called a tax, in other’s it a duty and you’ll even see it referred to as a fee, but make no mistake, they’re all ways to have you pay money so you can leave the country.
The amount of these, let’s call them fees, varies greatly from country to country. Japan recently added a departure fee of ¥1000, (about $9 USD), for people leaving the country. Australia charges a fee of A$60 ($42 USD) and Fiji charges a F$200 ($93.68 USD) fee to all departing passengers.
One reason you need to know the departure fee is that airlines will often charge you this fee when redeeming miles for an award ticket. Since it’s not considered part of the airfare cost from the airline, they pass the charge onto you.
When you find a hotel rate, especially in the United States, you will rarely, if ever pay just that amount. Just like when you purchase an item in the U.S., unless it says that tax is included, chances are good that you’ll have to pay tax on top of the advertised price; that’s just how we charge for things in the U.S. The same goes for hotels. Unless an advertised price explicitly says that taxes & fees are included, you can bet that something(s) is/are going to be added on to make your final price. And in recent years, some hotels have added on something sneaky called a “resort fee,” too. Plus you often have to put down a deposit for incidentals. But let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start):
The State Department enacted a new rule regarding tax debt in 2015 but it didn’t become fully implemented and enforced until earlier this year – JUST in time for the 2018 tax season.
It’s the weekend, y’all! HOORAY! Here’s a quick recap of the posts we wrote this week:
This week Joe wrote about:
- Should you drive or fly to your vacation destination – this article has the math to help you decide.
- The fantastic sightseeing tour of Manhattan that Joe got on his last Delta flight to LaGuardia Airport.
- Whether or not you should pay your taxes with a credit card.
- Your last chance to win a trip to see a Broadway show from JetBlue.
- Some quick thoughts about his very first flight on Frontier Airlines.
And Sharon wrote about:
- The menu for the soon-to-open Voo Doo Doughnuts at Universal Orlando.
- The map that helps take the guesswork out of when is the best time to travel to the destination of your choice.
- A brand-new camping experience…in the middle of New York City.
- #TBT: 1984 video of EPCOT Center’s World Key Information System.
- The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when (are you sitting down?) a TSA worker did something nice for her 😉
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!