I am a french citizen currently residing in the US as a non-resident alien. I will soon move back to France.
Before that, I am considering buying a laptop here in the US instead of buying it in France, as it is significantly cheaper. It seems that french tourists visiting the US are required to declare and pay 20% VAT on goods they bought during their stay (above a certain threshold, which would certainly be reached here).
Question: if I buy a laptop in the US while I am living in the US, and then go back to France permanently at the end of my visa, am I required to declare it and pay the 20% VAT at the customs?
This would seem slightly ridiculous, as I suspect people living in the US for 3-5 years would not and could not declare everything they bought in the US during their stay at the expiration of their visa...
Ps: I first asked this question at https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/11143/vat-going-from-the-us-to-france