Death and Taxes - Trophy Fees & Canada Customs

BRICKBURN

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lcq, in my experience it's no better going south than it is coming north.

Brickburn, I think we've discussed this before on another thread. I've been charged GST (value added tax) on the trophy fees in the past. Once when there was a fictitious invoice for an elephant hunt in the crate, the officer refused to accept it. I had the real one, and gave it to her, and she said "that's more like it". She had a binder with trophy fees from all over in it. No point arguing. Pay the tax and get out. Count yourself lucky.

Clearing my last shipment - two months ago from Cameroon - where daily rates are very high but trophy fees are very reasonable - I was told - for the first time - that I had to provide an invoice for the entire hunt, and that the GST would be based on that amount. I, too, naively suggested that that was a service I had consumed in Cameroon, and was bringing nothing of it back to Canada. Discussion ensues, and eventually we go with the trophy fees, but I was told that where Customs considers trophy fees to be "unreasonably low" - whatever that means - they could and would charge the fees on the value of the hunt. I can only assume most hunters won't have a problem - in SA - largest single hunting country for hunters from NA - trophy fees are high and day rates are low (i'd say too low, but then I'd only be hurting myself). Shoot a sable and Customs will be thrilled to charge you GST on $9,000 or more. Shoot the same sable in Zim and you might pay $4,000 (but the hunt cost you $1,000/day, rather than the $450 or $550 you paid in SA).

Problem is twofold. First, they have your stuff, and it costs money to have it sit at the brokers. Secondly, fighting this would cost more money than just paying the tax. I assume they count on that.

One solution I've found is to have the taxidermy done in Africa. They've always charges the GST on the cost of the taxidermy rather than the trophy fee. Never had a discussion.

Not right, but I'm saving myself for fights where I have at least an even chance.


I think we have brought this testy subject up before to. (Must come up every time I am traumatized.)

Oh, this guy was going to charge tax on Trophy Fees AND Taxidermy costs AND likely anything else they could dream up.
If it were just the Taxidermy I'd accept it. Value added, fair enough. (Been there done that, just like you)

Your story reinforces the idea that they use intimidation to get people to conform. Threaten an unreasonable amount and you settle for a lower amount, even though it is not reasonable either, just to save your time and energy and expense.
Taxation by frustration. Maybe they learned from Insurance claims department policies.

Being creative, I have taken care of the hostage thing and my very reasonable taxes are paid in full.
The over zealous do not work every day. Thankfully. :satisfied:


I have been searching the CBSA Memorandum (NRC) data base to find the threatened policy. It is nowhere to be found.

I will be showing up to interview this expert and then climb the ladder and see if hunters can quit being extorted and start being treated fairly and equitably with a National policy.
 
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Hank2211

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Had to look back at my post enysse. My solution to dealing with customs is complete surrender!
 

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I think we have brought this testy subject up before to. (Must come up every time I am traumatized.)

Oh, this guy was going to charge tax on Trophy Fees AND Taxidermy costs AND likely anything else they could dream up.
If it were just the Taxidermy I'd accept it. Value added, fair enough. (Been there done that, just like you)

Your story reinforces the idea that they use intimidation to get people to conform. Threaten an unreasonable amount and you settle for a lower amount, even though it is not reasonable either, just to save your time and energy and expense.
Taxation by frustration. Maybe they learned from Insurance claims department policies.

Being creative, I have taken care of the hostage thing and my very reasonable taxes are paid in full.
The over zealous do not work every day. Thankfully. :satisfied:


I have been searching the CBSA Memorandum (NRC) data base to find the threatened policy. It is nowhere to be found.

I will be showing up to interview this expert and then climb the ladder and see if hunters can quit being extorted and start being treated fairly and equitably with a National policy.

Brickburn, it could be a whole lot worse. I have never had anyone give me grief over a typo on a CITES form, or try to seize a trophy. Seems that happens on an almost daily basis south of the border. I read the Conservation Force newsletter monthly and - as treasonous as this sounds - often give thanks for Canadian Border Services!
 

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Brickburn, it could be a whole lot worse. I have never had anyone give me grief over a typo on a CITES form, or try to seize a trophy. Seems that happens on an almost daily basis south of the border. I read the Conservation Force newsletter monthly and - as treasonous as this sounds - often give thanks for Canadian Border Services!

It can always be worse.

A friend and I each imported the identical trucks, on the same day at the same border crossing and we were both treated quite differently. We stood within 6 feet of each other. The only difference was the officer who was processing the paperwork.

I cross the border enough that many times I am thankful that many of the officers are decent folks doing a job.

I hate the manner that an application of the law becomes such a lottery.
 

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You're more than welcome to get a copy of my invoices Brick.. maybe mine went well since I had Kim deal with it all. What does suck is you will be paying the tax there & then again on the taxidermy work too...

Mine was a package deal as well, so it might have been cheaper (if there had been a fight) to pay the tax on that over the trophy fees. I don't know what that would have worked out.

I think in my other thread I do have a list of all the prices in my 2 invoices for shipping as well.
 

BRICKBURN

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You're more than welcome to get a copy of my invoices Brick.. maybe mine went well since I had Kim deal with it all. What does suck is you will be paying the tax there & then again on the taxidermy work too...
??

RSA and Namibia actually know that the trophies are leaving the country. No tax.

The sad thing is, it should not matter who is clearing the trophies. Again, the lottery.

I will PM you my email address. Thanks for the help.
 

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What a freaking mess! I just made a post asking if folks hunt trophy animals and not bring the trophies home. I'm my case my wife isn't interested in having them in the house and I'd personally rather spend money on more hunting. This is a good lesson in case I do bring back a couple of hides or one trophy that is part of a package hunt.

Sounds like I want a separate invoice from the outfitter for the animals whose hide / mount I bring back?

Either that or not bother at all given the hassle. I hate dealing with bureaucrats and process.
 

BRICKBURN

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It does provide a strong reinforcement to save the money and hassle.

Freight handling agents specifically avoid particular ports of entry to stay away from this type of problem. They learned quickly and route your trophy shipment somewhere else for entry and then onward.

ie. Entering at Vancouver or Montreal to get to Saskatchewan. Certainly not the closest Port of Entry to the final destination but it avoids the problem children.
 

BRICKBURN

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In anticipation of my upcoming trophy shipment I have started to prepare to determine what my options are going to be. Same old homework to make sure I am up to date.

I just got the most pleasant surprise from a local Private Customs Clearing Agent /Freight Forwarder.
The problem child I have complained about at Canada Customs here at the local office has apparently been eradicated.

After long complaint and lots of fighting (by the industry) the Ottawa office sent the directive out.

One Anti Hunter has been muzzled and had the teeth and claws removed.:A Banana:

THEY SHOULD NOT CHARGE GST ON TROPHY FEES.

No more internet searches for trophy fees to pad the bill and make your life difficult.

You no longer have to avoid the problem child in your shipping plans. Fair Taxation!
 
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These types of fights are exhausting. Thanks for posting and explaining the situation! My take is that I now do not have to ensure an itemized breakdown if I am getting a package deal, is that accurate?
 

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In anticipation of my upcoming trophy shipment I have started to prepare to determine what my options are going to be. Same old homework to make sure I am up to date.

I just got the most pleasant surprise from a local Customs Clearing Agent Freight Forwarder.
The problem child I have complained about at Canada Customs here at the local has been eradicated.

After long complaint and lots of fighting (by the industry) the Ottawa office sent the directive out.

One Anti Hunter has been muzzled and had the teeth and claws removed.:A Banana:

THEY SHOULD NOT CHARGE GST ON TROPHY FEES.

No more internet searches for trophy fees to pad the bill and make your life difficult.

You no longer have to avoid the problem child in your shipping plans. Fair Taxation!

Thank you Brick your struggle will help the rest of us should another Bureaucrat with an agenda try this crap again. The only reason the offensive bureaucrat got defanged was we don't have an anti-gun anti-hunting Liberal government in power. Live in fear if Boy Blunder Trudeau gets elected. His puppetmaster is Gerry Butts former WWF.
 

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Brick

How would the blood suckers tax me on a tanned Zebra hide? If they assess a value on what we would pay here the taxes will be stupid high.
 

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These types of fights are exhausting. Thanks for posting and explaining the situation! My take is that I now do not have to ensure an itemized breakdown if I am getting a package deal, is that accurate?


The industry was tired of the crap and I'm glad the industry did the fight and not me.
Personally, I just avoided the problem child and the industry got tired of having to avoid the problem child. Hence, the solution.

In my view the only value they should be charging GST on is the Taxidermy invoice.

Every reasonable officer has done that and I have been satisfied. It's the problem child charging people on entire Safaris or Trophy Fees plus the taxidermy that made me nuts.

What makes up a package?
Day Rates;

Do you get charged GST on your holiday in Hawaii?

Trophy Fees;
Do you get charged GST on your Whale Watching, Fishing in Hawaii?
You don't get the meat, nor most of the skin, the guts are in the field.


You paid for the opportunity to hunt in Africa as an International Hunter.

What are you actually bringing back?
What is the market value on Mounts, skins, horns, skulls?

Not very much.
I have successfully provided (from the same internet the problem child liked to use) a sample of current market values of the products I am actually importing to support my statement of value and not provide an Outfitter Invoice.
eg. Blesbuck Euro Mount, etc. Buy one in RSA.

From the internet today:
Looks like $1000 will get you an entire safari mounted. Bet you can negotiate it down.
So your taxidermy bill (if you do import finished work) should provide something appropriate to tax.


Trophy For Sale.jpg
 

BRICKBURN

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Brick

How would the blood suckers tax me on a tanned Zebra hide? If they assess a value on what we would pay here the taxes will be stupid high.

I can't say what they might do.
I'm personally going to present the taxidermy invoice and trust that is where it will stop. (crossing my fingers)

That is a really good question. I have yet to bring back a Zebra. I have only brought back "worthless" hunting trophies.
It might be the only thing in a Safari that anyone else (other than a hunter) might really want and thus the after market value here might be misleading compared to what you paid.

I have not figured that one out yet.
 

BRICKBURN

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You'll also notice the solution I introduce is to use the LOCAL market. (You have to love the internet)
 
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lcq

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I can't say what they might do.
I'm personally going to present the taxidermy invoice and trust that is where it will stop. (crossing my fingers)

That is a really good question. I have yet to bring back a Zebra. I have only brought back "worthless" hunting trophies.
It might be the only thing in a Safari that anyone else (other than a hunter) might really want and thus the after market value here might be misleading compared to what you paid.

I have not figured that one out yet.

Thanks. I'll check into it with CBSA and try and have it ironed out before I leave. Since I'm traveling out of Montreal this time I expect some rabid anti-Hunting anti Anglo types so if I have something from the Borg it should defang them.
 

BRICKBURN

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Always good to have a Nano Probe with you.
 
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Hank2211

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Brickburn, thanks very much for your involvement in this. I was one of the ones forced to pay GST on trophy fees last year, but since it was a hunt in Cameroon, the trophy fees (on bongo and sitatunga) were small enough (compared to the cost of the hunt, which I was threatened with) that I let it go. I ought not to have done that.

Very large shipment coming this year, and this will make an enormous difference.

As for Zebra, I don't believe it's the local market that is relevant, unless they can't establish the real value that you paid. Lots of things are acquired abroad because they are cheaper there than back home (otherwise why buy them?). I've been charged GST on the trophy fee (once) and GST on the taxidermy invoice (the other 5 times!). I have to say I'm not sure what would happen if I'd only had them dipped in Africa. I think the solution is to shoot enough that one poor zebra is lost among the many!
 

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In anticipation of my upcoming trophy shipment


Is that giraffe wrap in this one?

I still want to see how that looks when you get it hung. Since my wife will have a say in how it looks it may make a difference on whether I ever hunt one or not.:unsure:
 

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The South African shipment will have a lovely fully tanned giraffe hide, suitable for any floor where I can hide it from my wife. As far as a wrap goes, I'm thinking cashmere (for her).

The Zimbabwean shipment will have equally lovely but more easily hidden gun and other bags made from the Zimbabwean giraffe.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the skulls.
 

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