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Taxes on Household Goods/Car?

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rmarb
9/19/2007 16:47 EST

My wife and I are planning to retire in Guatemala, probably in the Antigua area early next year. I am a US citizen and she is Guatemalan but now holds US citizenship also. I am looking for information on whether or not household goods and a car are taxed and any idea how much. Thanks in advance if anyone has information.

Regards
Ralph

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quetzal
9/24/2007 11:57 EST

Yes you can bring your household goods/car into Guate and they will be taxed. There are 2 vehicle taxes, a 10% import tax and a 12% value added tax (VAT). This is for a pick-up truck. A passenger vehicle is considered a "luxury" vehicle and is taxed at a higher VAT. The best thing to do is purchase some type of box truck which is considered a working vehicle and is taxed at a lower rate, load it up with household effects, and drive there through Mexico. If you are really brave, you could purchase and tow another vehicle and sell it there.

I do not know what the taxes are for household items. There is a list called the harmonized tarriff schedule for guatemala. Try to look through CAFTA and find it. That was how I did it, I looked through CAFTA and found the entire harmonized tariff schedule. SAT is the Guate agency in charge, but can call U.S. Dept of Commerce for more info. and research other government agencies. There are lots of them but I cannot remember them all now. Can also call the guatemala embassy.

Also, doesn't your wife have friends/family in Guatemala who could give you advice? They should be able to help you with all of this. There is much more to it than I can write here. You really need to speak to your wife's family about all of this.

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Mukinito
9/30/2007 19:48 EST

I am no expert but I sent one of my vehicles to Guatemala last year and it cost me approximately $2000.00 in taxes coming in through Puerto Barrios.
We are also moving to Guatemala and I decided to send my 1998 oldsmobile so that I could have a good car. I don't trust buying used cars in Guatemala. I saw nothing but salvage vehicles in terrible shape that are fixed and resold in questionable condition. A new car is way overpriced and I frankly cannot see buying a new car because that makes you a target for thieves. As far as household goods I sent 5 large boxes of clothes and household good through a Company Called Medrano Express and I paid no extra taxes besides what I paid to ship the boxes which was approximately $370 a box.

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Mukinito
9/30/2007 19:54 EST

Antigua is great for Americans and Europeans to visit. If you want to live in Antigua I hope you have a lot of $$ because it is very expensive. You can build a brand new home for a lot less approximately $80,000 not including cabinets and closets or appliances and live only 10 minutes away. I suggest living in a gated community . Good luck and God Bless.

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