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Old 27.05.2015, 12:57
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VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

Hope I can get the help from the fellow users - I have noticed similar threads but want to get an updated answer.

I work for a replica furniture company in the UK and we have recently exported some chairs to a Swiss customer. As the products we sell contravene the strict Switzerland copyright laws (but don't with the rest of the EU) delivery was initially made to an address in Germany - hence the requirement for us to charge VAT - customer has paid the invoice. The customer then brought the goods into Switzerland and has recently sent me an email with a scanned copy of our invoice which has been official stamped "Zoll D Haupzolland Lorrach" and has asked about the procedure for reclaiming VAT.

Can anyone confirm whether I simply refund the VAT to the customer and make an adjustment on the VAT Return (Sage treatment?)? Do I need the original documentation for our records, or will the scanned copy suffice?

Many thanks in advance for any replies that can help me sort this situation.
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Old 27.05.2015, 13:20
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Re: VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

Do you want to reclaim the VAT you charged when the furniture was exported from the UK to Germany?

You should not have charged any extra VAT as both countries are in the EU.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you want to refund the UK VAT as the furniture has now been exported from the EU to Switzerland?

You should ask your local Scottish tax office which documents they require.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VAT paid to Switzerland cannot be reclaimed.
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Old 27.05.2015, 13:39
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Re: VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

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Do you want to reclaim the VAT you charged when the furniture was exported from the UK to Germany?

You should not have charged any extra VAT as both countries are in the EU.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you want to refund the UK VAT as the furniture has now been exported from the EU to Switzerland?

You should ask your local Scottish tax office which documents they require.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VAT paid to Switzerland cannot be reclaimed.
Not exactly accurate, unless the customer in Europe has a VAT no then VAT is chargeable. If the Swiss customer is VAT registered the Swiss VAT can be reclaimed.

To the OP, as you can prove the goods were exported to CH then no VAT needs to be charged & you can refund the customer.
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Old 27.05.2015, 13:44
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Re: VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you want to refund the UK VAT as the furniture has now been exported from the EU to Switzerland?

You should ask your local Scottish tax office which documents they require.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

.
I think the OP means this.
This website might be helpful
https://www.gov.uk/government/public...retail-exports
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Old 27.05.2015, 13:45
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Re: VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

I have recently taken up this position and the invoice was raised by my predecessor. By my understanding the following applies:
  1. VAT should be charged when making an export to the EU when the recipient is not registered for their countries relevant VAT scheme (i.e. you only make a VAT free sale IF they have provided you with the appropriate VAT registration number)
  2. If the goods had been able to be exported direct to Switzerland, we would not have charged VAT as Switzerland, although in the EU has different VAT rules to those in the above instance.
  3. From reviewing other threads in this forum, (I came across this forum as a result of a search) our treatment has been correct so far (regarding invoicing) but I wanted the experience of someone at this end as to what I need to do with regard to the customer getting the VAT back.
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Old 27.05.2015, 14:03
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Re: VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

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I have recently taken up this position and the invoice was raised by my predecessor. By my understanding the following applies:
  1. From reviewing other threads in this forum, (I came across this forum as a result of a search) our treatment has been correct so far (regarding invoicing) but I wanted the experience of someone at this end as to what I need to do with regard to the customer getting the VAT back.
From my perspective as a customer who has reclaimed tax many times. The customer gets the form with receipt stamped by German border guard before entering Switzerland. Then return this stamped form to the shop who in turn returns the VAT paid.
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Old 27.05.2015, 15:00
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Re: VAT Question - Goods exported to Switzerland via Germany

Thanks JoMiFa,

Had a look at notice 704 and ended up phoning HMRC to get clarification (they directed me to Notice 703 as sale was an internet/mail-order sale rather than face-to-face purchase.

For anyone in similar situation the routine is as follows:
  • Retailer charges VAT on invoice as goods are being shipped to EU (unless customer has relevant VAT number as discussed earlier)
  • Customer upon exporting the goods themselves outwith the EU (in this case Switzerland), gets the invoice stamped by Border Control and sends copy to Retailer.
  • Retailer if satisfied that goods have now become "Exports" can adjust the VAT and refunds customer.

Thanks all for your responses.
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