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Old 23.11.2012, 11:12
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VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

Hi,

I browsed through some threads here but I couldn't find the answer for my question. If it is somewhere there, mods please free to close/delete this and direct me to the correct one...

So, I have purchased something from Germany, on ebay. Total value EUR 210, including shipping.
I guess I will pay some import duty/fee/tax whatever here in CH (I expect the delivery today, by DHL) but I would like to refund the german VAT (abt. EUR 38). I will have the original invoice proving the figures, but how and where can I apply for this refund? Does anyone have experience on this?

Thanks in advance for any hints or ideas,
Jeno
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Old 23.11.2012, 11:14
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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Hi,

I browsed through some threads here but I couldn't find the answer for my question. If it is somewhere there, mods please free to close/delete this and direct me to the correct one...

So, I have purchased something from Germany, on ebay. Total value EUR 210, including shipping.
I guess I will pay some import duty/fee/tax whatever here in CH (I expect the delivery today, by DHL) but I would like to refund the german VAT (abt. EUR 38). I will have the original invoice proving the figures, but how and where can I apply for this refund? Does anyone have experience on this?

Thanks in advance for any hints or ideas,
Jeno
The EU-based seller should not charge VAT when shipping to a non-EU country.
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Old 23.11.2012, 11:19
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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The EU-based seller should not charge VAT when shipping to a non-EU country.
Yes, that would be the easiest solution but it definitely did, I realized this when looked at the invoice sent recently in email as well.

Additional info: I'm EU citizen.
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Old 23.11.2012, 16:09
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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Yes, that would be the easiest solution but it definitely did, I realized this when looked at the invoice sent recently in email as well.

Additional info: I'm EU citizen.
Then you are screwed.
Only possibility is to write to the seller asking for them to refund the incorrectly charged VAT. For me this works about one time in ten
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Old 23.11.2012, 17:06
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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Then you are screwed.
Only possibility is to write to the seller asking for them to refund the incorrectly charged VAT. For me this works about one time in ten
Thanks

That's what I was affraid of...
I already wrote them asking about what is their opinion on the topic. Fortunately I did not rate the transaction yet on ebay, so they might feel a bit forced to be supportive on this. We'll see.
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Old 23.11.2012, 17:38
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

They are NOT obliged to not charge you VAT!

It's extra paperwork for them to not charge you, if they don't want to do the paperwork, they MUST charge you!

Tom
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Old 23.11.2012, 17:41
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

Being an EU citizen doesn't make a difference, so long as you are resident in Switzerland.
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Old 23.11.2012, 17:47
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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Being an EU citizen doesn't make a difference, so long as you are resident in Switzerland.
I also realized afterwards that it is irrelevant in this case... It just seemed to be an important detail for a few seconds.
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Old 23.11.2012, 19:56
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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They are NOT obliged to not charge you VAT!

It's extra paperwork for them to not charge you, if they don't want to do the paperwork, they MUST charge you!

Tom
How is it extra paperwork?

If I ship something outside of CH I just leave VAT off the invoice & write on the invioce something like "VAT free, shipped outside Switzerland"; anyway this is obvious from the address.

Used the same approach when I was VAT registered in the UK.
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Old 26.11.2012, 09:58
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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How is it extra paperwork?
It is more paperwork because the seller needs to provide extra paperwork to their local VAT collector to show why they aren't giving the VAT to the VAT office.

Tom
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Old 26.11.2012, 10:13
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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It is more paperwork because the seller needs to provide extra paperwork to their local VAT collector to show why they aren't giving the VAT to the VAT office.

Tom
If sending a product from Switzerland to Germany/EU, all we have to do is keep the shipping document on hand (together with the invoice) for ten years. That is proof enough on our side that we do not have to charge the 8% MwSt/VAT. Other than that, there are no other documents to produce if audited.
JC
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Old 26.11.2012, 12:45
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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If sending a product from Switzerland to Germany/EU, all we have to do is keep the shipping document on hand (together with the invoice) for ten years. That is proof enough on our side that we do not have to charge the 8% MwSt/VAT. Other than that, there are no other documents to produce if audited.
JC
Me2 - it is enough to send it registered delivery & keep the Post Office receipt
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Old 28.11.2012, 00:16
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

So, however it should work, apparently it does not...
They say, that as being an EU resident (my ebay account tells them I'm EU citizen) I'm not entitled to get an invoice without VAT. I keep telling them that they delivered outside the EU and I'm officially located in CH now, they don't care...


But at least, there was no import duty or any kind of fee at all.
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Old 29.11.2012, 00:11
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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So, however it should work, apparently it does not...
They say, that as being an EU resident (my ebay account tells them I'm EU citizen) I'm not entitled to get an invoice without VAT. I keep telling them that they delivered outside the EU and I'm officially located in CH now, they don't care...


But at least, there was no import duty or any kind of fee at all.
As you write, your address is the key point - your nationality is not relevant.
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Old 28.03.2013, 12:13
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

I recently purchased a Kombi Kinderwagen (stroller + bassinet + car seat) from Amazon.de and got it delivered home in Bern. I knew that I would have to pay delivery + customs + Swiss VAT over this purchase, but even after those calculations, the product that I was buying was coming at a much lesser price as compared to the same product being sold on websites of Switzerland. I did my calculations with the excellent FAQs on the Swiss Post website.

This being not the first time that I have ordered stuff from Germany, I was expecting the postman to bring along an invoice for the customs charges + Swiss MwSt (VAT), but he just dropped the parcel off at my place yesterday. The delivery was handled by GLS which partners with Swiss Post. I am now expecting this customs + Swiss VAT invoice to come in the post in the following days.

Why I am posting in this thread is because, even though I made the purchase from Amazon.de, the seller that I bought from was not Amazon but a third-party selling via Amazon. As a result the Amazon engine could not deal with the concept of deduction of German MwST (VAT) before processing the order. I effectively had to pay the German VAT and now will have to ask for a refund from the seller. I contacted the seller before I got the delivery and he assured that once the delivery is completed, and I show proof of paying the Swiss VAT, he will refund the German VAT.

However, when the delivery arrived, the order invoice on the package shows just two components, i.e. product cost + shipping charges. Nowhere has the seller mentioned that the product cost is inclusive of the German VAT. It is the same story on the Amazon.de online receipt that I received on making the purchase. So I guess the Swiss customs office shall calculate the Swiss VAT based on this incorrect sum. Let's see what shall happen. I will post in this thread later when I get the actual invoice in the post. I shall also post about whether the seller actually refunds the German VAT or not.
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Old 28.03.2013, 12:17
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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I recently purchased a Kombi Kinderwagen (stroller + bassinet + car seat) from Amazon.de and got it delivered home in Bern. I knew that I would have to pay delivery + customs + Swiss VAT over this purchase, but even after those calculations, the product that I was buying was coming at a much lesser price as compared to the same product being sold on websites of Switzerland. I did my calculations with the excellent FAQs on the Swiss Post website.

This being not the first time that I have ordered stuff from Germany, I was expecting the postman to bring along an invoice for the customs charges + Swiss MwSt (VAT), but he just dropped the parcel off at my place yesterday. The delivery was handled by GLS which partners with Swiss Post. I am now expecting this customs + Swiss VAT invoice to come in the post in the following days.

Why I am posting in this thread is because, even though I made the purchase from Amazon.de, the seller that I bought from was not Amazon but a third-party selling via Amazon. As a result the Amazon engine could not deal with the concept of deduction of German MwST (VAT) before processing the order. I effectively had to pay the German VAT and now will have to ask for a refund from the seller. I contacted the seller before I got the delivery and he assured that once the delivery is completed, and I show proof of paying the Swiss VAT, he will refund the German VAT.

However, when the delivery arrived, the order invoice on the package shows just two components, i.e. product cost + shipping charges. Nowhere has the seller mentioned that the product cost is inclusive of the German VAT. It is the same story on the Amazon.de online receipt that I received on making the purchase. So I guess the Swiss customs office shall calculate the Swiss VAT based on this incorrect sum. Let's see what shall happen. I will post in this thread later when I get the actual invoice in the post. I shall also post about whether the seller actually refunds the German VAT or not.
The Swiss don't care if it includes foreign VAT or not, just the total.

Even if it says "includes VAT", it will make no difference.

Tom
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Old 28.03.2013, 12:37
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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The Swiss don't care if it includes foreign VAT or not, just the total.

Even if it says "includes VAT", it will make no difference.

Tom
I thought the import tax depended on the net cost of the item being imported? In other words, a 300 Euro item would have more Swiss tax to pay if it simply cost 300 Euro (seller not VAT registered) rather than 300 Euro including 19% MWST.
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Old 28.03.2013, 13:06
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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I thought the import tax depended on the net cost of the item being imported? In other words, a 300 Euro item would have more Swiss tax to pay if it simply cost 300 Euro (seller not VAT registered) rather than 300 Euro including 19% MWST.
Yes indeed a 300EUR item including 19% MwSt would imply that its value is 243EUR. Hence the import tax should be calculated over 243EUR + shipping charges. Whereas a 300EUR item will have import tax calculated over 300EUR + shipping charges. In my case, the seller is very well VAT registered (it says on his Amazon.de profile "Die angegebenen Preise sind inklusive Mehrwertsteuer."). But as the invoice from the seller doesn't mention that the price of the article that I purchased is inclusive of 19% Deutsch MwSt, the Schweizer Zollstelle will assume that this is the value after deduction of foreign VAT and calculate the Schweizer MwSt using this net price.

Effectively I will end up paying Swiss VAT for the German VAT, which is just stupid. Even if the seller refunds the German VAT, he will not refund this VAT over VAT
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Old 28.03.2013, 13:16
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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Yes indeed a 300EUR item including 19% MwSt would imply that its value is 243EUR. Hence the import tax should be calculated over 243EUR + shipping charges. Whereas a 300EUR item will have import tax calculated over 300EUR + shipping charges. In my case, the seller is very well VAT registered (it says on his Amazon.de profile "Die angegebenen Preise sind inklusive Mehrwertsteuer."). But as the invoice from the seller doesn't mention that the price of the article that I purchased is inclusive of 19% Deutsch MwSt, the Schweizer Zollstelle will assume that this is the value after deduction of foreign VAT and calculate the Schweizer MwSt using this net price.

Effectively I will end up paying Swiss VAT for the German VAT, which is just stupid. Even if the seller refunds the German VAT, he will not refund this VAT over VAT
actually, 300 Eur including 19% VAT is 252 Euro without the VAT, not 243 (not a big difference but you took 19% of 300 and then subtracted that amount, and you needed to divide 300 by 1.19 to get the without VAT amount )
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Old 28.03.2013, 13:50
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Re: VAT Refund - Online purchase from Germany

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The Swiss don't care if it includes foreign VAT or not, just the total.
Even if it says "includes VAT", it will make no difference.
Tom
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I thought the import tax depended on the net cost of the item being imported? In other words, a 300 Euro item would have more Swiss tax to pay if it simply cost 300 Euro (seller not VAT registered) rather than 300 Euro including 19% MWST.
Import tax is calculated on the net cost provided that VAT is separately declared on the invoice:
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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Foreign VAT is not part of the calculation basis, provided it is shown on the invoice or the contract of sale by the supplier.

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Effectively I will end up paying Swiss VAT for the German VAT, which is just stupid. Even if the seller refunds the German VAT, he will not refund this VAT over VAT
Which happens to you everytime you purchase from a vendor who doesn't offer any VAT refund.
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