Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19.08.2015, 16:18
Phos's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ZRH
Posts: 7,177
Groaned at 462 Times in 350 Posts
Thanked 9,364 Times in 4,926 Posts
Phos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond repute
Is German MWST refund optional?

Found some merchandise on a german website with prices including Mehrwertsteuer. So I called them and asked how I can refund or deduct it from the price. They said they don't deduct or refund it.

So is this practice of refunding or deducting the MWST solely at the discretion of the vendor? They are not required by some law to refund it? What keeps other vendors from also deciding not to refund it?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19.08.2015, 16:41
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Aargau
Posts: 1,559
Groaned at 12 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 1,810 Times in 881 Posts
Mullhollander has a reputation beyond reputeMullhollander has a reputation beyond reputeMullhollander has a reputation beyond reputeMullhollander has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

German retailers are not obliged to refund VAT to foreign customers:

"Wie kann ich die 19% MwSt. einfordern?

Die Rückerstattung der MwSt. bei Ausfuhr von Waren aus Deutschland ist für die Händler NICHT obligatorisch. Bitte klären Sie im Vorfeld ab, ob Ihr Händler einer Rückerstattung zustimmt."

http://www.europaketshop.ch/index.ph...wst-einfordern
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Mullhollander for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 19.08.2015, 17:03
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
Found some merchandise on a german website with prices including Mehrwertsteuer. So I called them and asked how I can refund or deduct it from the price. They said they don't deduct or refund it.

So is this practice of refunding or deducting the MWST solely at the discretion of the vendor? They are not required by some law to refund it? What keeps other vendors from also deciding not to refund it?

The question is whether they are a MWST-registered company or not.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19.08.2015, 17:57
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 1,158
Groaned at 15 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 1,310 Times in 596 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
The question is whether they are a MWST-registered company or not.
No, if they're quoting prices with MWST then by definition they are registered (unless they're illegally quoting the tax but keeping it themself!).

The factor is whether it's worthwhile for them to do the tax refund and relevant documentation, which depends on the cost impact vs customer service value.

The same certainly applies in CH and UK - big stores dealing with overseas orders or customers frequently will, smaller ones not.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank newtoswitz for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 19.08.2015, 18:28
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
No, if they're quoting prices with MWST then by definition they are registered (unless they're illegally quoting the tax but keeping it themself!).

The factor is whether it's worthwhile for them to do the tax refund and relevant documentation, which depends on the cost impact vs customer service value.

The same certainly applies in CH and UK - big stores dealing with overseas orders or customers frequently will, smaller ones not.

We for years imported from the UK and as our partner was VAT-registered we quite often did the billing procedure via HIS Company, as the vendor often was not. Many of the suppliers did not even know about the VAT rate. What applies to the UK and CH also applies to Germany, as quite many vendors are not in the export Business. Important is that the export is proven as the money otherwise is lost
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 19.08.2015, 19:33
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 1,158
Groaned at 15 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 1,310 Times in 596 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
We for years imported from the UK and as our partner was VAT-registered we quite often did the billing procedure via HIS Company, as the vendor often was not. Many of the suppliers did not even know about the VAT rate. What applies to the UK and CH also applies to Germany, as quite many vendors are not in the export Business. Important is that the export is proven as the money otherwise is lost
By this though don't you mean you are claiming back as the purchaser and as a VAT registered company yourself?

Not quite the same as removing it at source, and I guess you can't claim back German tax if you're Swiss based with no presence in Germany.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 19.08.2015, 21:46
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
By this though don't you mean you are claiming back as the purchaser and as a VAT registered company yourself?

Not quite the same as removing it at source, and I guess you can't claim back German tax if you're Swiss based with no presence in Germany.

if the Gernan supplier is VAT registered you can, even as a private Person, without any presence in Germany
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 19.08.2015, 21:56
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Again, if the supplier tells you NOT to be VAT registered you have to accept the Statement BUT real Commercial companies DO the VAT deduction. We made THIS experience since the mid-70ies
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 19.08.2015, 23:05
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Zug
Posts: 656
Groaned at 24 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 749 Times in 339 Posts
xkcd has a reputation beyond reputexkcd has a reputation beyond reputexkcd has a reputation beyond reputexkcd has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

May I humbly suggest that you continue reading here: getting back VAT, buying from amazon.de

Quote:
View Post
Again, if the supplier tells you NOT to be VAT registered you have to accept the Statement BUT real Commercial companies DO the VAT deduction. We made THIS experience since the mid-70ies
The threshold for mandatory VAT registration is way lower in Germany than in Switzerland (where it is 100'000 CHF annual revenue, IIRC). German companies claiming not to be subject to VAT would have to have a revenue of less than 17'500 EUR in the past calendar year and a forecasted revenue of no more than 50'000 EUR in the current year.
Wolli, you are missing the point of why some companies refuse to refund VAT: They consider it too much paperwork/hassle to bother with individual claims for a few dozen/hundred EUR. Like it or not, they are not obliged to refund VAT to a Swiss resident.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank xkcd for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 20.08.2015, 06:25
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
May I humbly suggest that you continue reading here: getting back VAT, buying from amazon.de


The threshold for mandatory VAT registration is way lower in Germany than in Switzerland (where it is 100'000 CHF annual revenue, IIRC). German companies claiming not to be subject to VAT would have to have a revenue of less than 17'500 EUR in the past calendar year and a forecasted revenue of no more than 50'000 EUR in the current year.
Wolli, you are missing the point of why some companies refuse to refund VAT: They consider it too much paperwork/hassle to bother with individual claims for a few dozen/hundred EUR. Like it or not, they are not obliged to refund VAT to a Swiss resident.

But most in fact DO. At least closer than 100 km to the border and in urban areas
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 20.08.2015, 09:28
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 3,025
Groaned at 99 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 3,746 Times in 1,936 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
Found some merchandise on a german website with prices including Mehrwertsteuer. So I called them and asked how I can refund or deduct it from the price. They said they don't deduct or refund it.

So is this practice of refunding or deducting the MWST solely at the discretion of the vendor? They are not required by some law to refund it? What keeps other vendors from also deciding not to refund it?
- Yes, the dicision is at the vendors sole discretion (at least in Germany).
- If they refuse to hand you an Ausfuhrschein (export confirmation) they aren't required as you have no grounds to make a claim. But if they do they probably are required.
- It's a selling point. Since you're prudently asking before buying (wink wink ) only those that do have a chance to get your business.

With online sales the vendor knows for certain the items are being exported as he himself sends them abroad, so he doesn't risk having to cough up VAT later on himself. Thus I wouldn't accept anything but him deducting VAT from the sales price.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 20.08.2015, 10:32
Phos's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ZRH
Posts: 7,177
Groaned at 462 Times in 350 Posts
Thanked 9,364 Times in 4,926 Posts
Phos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
With online sales the vendor knows for certain the items are being exported as he himself sends them abroad, so he doesn't risk having to cough up VAT later on himself. Thus I wouldn't accept anything but him deducting VAT from the sales price.
So if you buy something online with MWST, and have it shipped to you, do Swiss customs acknowledge the MWST, or can they still charge for MWST again, meaning you are taxed twice for the same product?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 20.08.2015, 10:42
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
So if you buy something online with MWST, and have it shipped to you, do Swiss customs acknowledge the MWST, or can they still charge for MWST again, meaning you are taxed twice for the same product?

Swiss customs does NOT care about MWST paid or not paid before arrival here. What matters is the MWST amount here. If this is below CHF 5.-- they do not charge you. The Transport however is added to the value. So, either it is stated clearly by the supplier *inkl Versand-Kosten" or "Versand = EUR 12 or else they will assume the costs
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Wollishofener for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 20.08.2015, 10:45
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 3,025
Groaned at 99 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 3,746 Times in 1,936 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
So if you buy something online with MWST, and have it shipped to you, do Swiss customs acknowledge the MWST, or can they still charge for MWST again, meaning you are taxed twice for the same product?
Customs are agnostic as to what happens abroad, it's none of their business as they have no say. So it should be the latter. Though you're only taxed once from each "national" point of view.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Urs Max for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 20.08.2015, 10:54
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Basel
Posts: 89
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 68 Times in 36 Posts
jjake has no particular reputation at present
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
Customs are agnostic as to what happens abroad, it's none of their business as they have no say. So it should be the latter. Though you're only taxed once from each "national" point of view.
On the plus side (if that helps a bit) - Swiss MWST will only be calculated on the 'net' value of the products and services, not on the original MWST. For example, if the value is:
Products = EUR 100
MWST = EUR 19 (for simplicity)
Delivery costs = EUR 10
Total costs = EUR 129

Swiss VAT will be calculated on EUR 110 value (i.e., value of products + delivery costs).
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank jjake for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 20.08.2015, 11:10
Phos's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ZRH
Posts: 7,177
Groaned at 462 Times in 350 Posts
Thanked 9,364 Times in 4,926 Posts
Phos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond reputePhos has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
On the plus side (if that helps a bit) - Swiss MWST will only be calculated on the 'net' value of the products and services, not on the original MWST. For example, if the value is:
Products = EUR 100
MWST = EUR 19 (for simplicity)
Delivery costs = EUR 10
Total costs = EUR 129

Swiss VAT will be calculated on EUR 110 value (i.e., value of products + delivery costs).

So you there is a potential of 25% in taxes for goods purchased in Germany, plus delivery if any. Certainly something to be clearly aware of before committing to a purchase.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 20.08.2015, 11:13
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 19,028
Groaned at 333 Times in 258 Posts
Thanked 11,712 Times in 6,857 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
Customs are agnostic as to what happens abroad, it's none of their business as they have no say. So it should be the latter. Though you're only taxed once from each "national" point of view.

YES, but they see the stamps .................................
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 20.08.2015, 11:46
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 8,793
Groaned at 189 Times in 172 Posts
Thanked 24,225 Times in 6,524 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
On the plus side (if that helps a bit) - Swiss MWST will only be calculated on the 'net' value of the products and services, not on the original MWST. For example, if the value is:
Products = EUR 100
MWST = EUR 19 (for simplicity)
Delivery costs = EUR 10
Total costs = EUR 129

Swiss VAT will be calculated on EUR 110 value (i.e., value of products + delivery costs).
Do note that if the invoice or customs declaration on the parcel isn't clear, it can end up like thks:

Products = EUR 119

Swiss VAT will be calculated on EUR119 *plus* a random amount thought to cover postage, which is typically more than the postage would actually cost.

I recently ordered some bike components from wiggle.co.uk and they have free delivery to Switzerland if the order is over a certain amount. I forget the exact details but it's very close to the tax free limit for importing into Switzerland, so I juggled my order around into multiple shipments each just within that band of free delivery and no Swiss VAT due. I emailed them to ask them to ensure it clearly stated "free delivery" on the packing slip. They did this. Phew.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 20.08.2015, 11:52
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 13,724
Groaned at 209 Times in 181 Posts
Thanked 11,034 Times in 6,259 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
Swiss customs does NOT care about MWST paid or not paid before arrival here. What matters is the MWST amount here. If this is below CHF 5.-- they do not charge you. The Transport however is added to the value. So, either it is stated clearly by the supplier *inkl Versand-Kosten" or "Versand = EUR 12 or else they will assume the costs

It's quite possible to appeal any tax overcharged, sending the paypal receipt is enough in my experience.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 20.08.2015, 11:53
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 1,158
Groaned at 15 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 1,310 Times in 596 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is German MWST refund optional?

Quote:
View Post
It's quite possible to appeal any tax overcharged, sending the paypal receipt is enough in my experience.
Does that also cover the absurd charge from Die Post, which in every case I've had was much more than the actual VAT?
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
German VAT Refund - Timeline NewLondon Transportation/driving 17 24.07.2015 16:18
Reclaiming German MWST adrianlondon Finance/banking/taxation 75 20.06.2015 11:39
Claiming German VAT refund - but for tourists oferet Finance/banking/taxation 11 24.10.2012 13:20
Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt Jekyll Finance/banking/taxation 15 16.08.2011 13:22
Refund of VAT on German Car Maly2009 Transportation/driving 21 13.07.2011 11:20


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 16:44.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0