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  #21  
Old 11.05.2010, 18:15
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Well, I'm getting there ... I'm going to Stuttgart later this week to buy the bike armed with a printed (from pdf) tax form and a German speaking friend. Oh, and an American friend as the shop mentioned something about "Americans don't pay the tax".

However, I want to come back from Stuttgart on Sunday when the customs offices that I can use (Basel Bad Bf or the one near the Rhein Center) are shut.

So now my plan is to come back Sunday, then after work on Monday cycle into Germany and come back and present the form (and bike) to the German customs office as if I was just coming back. That should work! We'll see ...
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  #22  
Old 11.05.2010, 19:58
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

You could be even sneakier (and healthier). Cycle to France, then into Germany, then back into CH.
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  #23  
Old 11.05.2010, 20:47
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Yes, I might do that. A colleague told me earlier that he'd bought something in Germany, got back at Basel Bad Bf on Sunday to find no customs and ... asked a security guard where the customs people were.

He was told that they don't work on Sunday and to go back the nxt day with the receipt (goods not necessary!). So he went to the station on Monday armed with his receipt and tax form, and the thing he bought at home, and they stamped it!
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  #24  
Old 11.05.2010, 21:04
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

My neighbours got their form stamped on the German side, but the Swiss side was unattended. They got a demand for the tax due from the Swiss zoll, 3 months later. With penalties of course. The German border guard had shopped them.

They were told that they should have gone back another day when the Swiss guards were around. My neighbours have been in CH for over 30 years, and never knew this.
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  #25  
Old 11.05.2010, 21:09
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Thanks for that. I wasn't aware that they swapped information like that. They don't usually keep a copy of anything they stamp but then I've only been waving Marktkauf receipts for under 50€ until now ;)
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  #26  
Old 12.05.2010, 10:22
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

I don't think they do it on a regular basis - on this occasion it was quite a large purchase they'd made; the anomaly was that the the German guard took their paperwork away, before returning the form stamped - he'd obviously photocopied it. If there is someone on the Swiss side, it's not been unknown for the Germans to call them.
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  #27  
Old 12.05.2010, 10:43
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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Thanks, so it sounds like the best thing to do is find a german shop that'll put the shocks on the bike while i wait in germany, and then i might be able to get the VAT back. Correct?
Know of any shops like that near schwarzwald?
Putting shocks on a bike isn't totally straightforward so I would have thought it reasonable to have the dealer do this, with a fitting fee charged, and then claim the VAT. Worth a try.

Sorry, I don't know about dealers/retailers in Germany, but I'm sure a call to a bike dealer that stocks your brand would do the trick -- or just take a look in the Yellow Pages.
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  #28  
Old 17.05.2010, 14:09
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

All sorted! Bought my bike in Stuttgart over the weekend. The shop gave me an invocie with my name and Swiss address on it; no need for the tax form.

I came back last night when the customs offices were shut, so cycled over to Weil am Rhein just now. Cycled into Germany and doubled back to get to the German customs office. He looked at the invoice, asked to see the bike, and stamped it. As I had to hold up the bike to the customs window in full view of the Swissies, I walked over to the Swiss customs office to declare it.

As I was walking, the phone rang at the Swiss control booth (where the cars pass) and a guy answered and started walking towards me. I got to the office before he did and he processed the paperwork. I'm 99% sure the German chap phoned him, as as soon as I'd paid, the Swiss guy went back to his booth. In other words, he only came over to the office to see me.

Anyway, I'll post or take back the stamped invoice to reclaim my 19% German tax. I paid 7.6% Swiss tax on the net amount (which they converted at 1.4196 CHF = 1€).
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  #29  
Old 19.05.2010, 18:20
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

i have noticed at the weil am rhein border if you have any items that are over the tax limit of €200 then the germans make you come and park in front of the office and come out to have a look at the items - this is a sign to the swiss border that you have something over the limit.

last year they extended the middle barrier so you couldnt just do a U-turn and then drive through into CH somewhere else and avoid the swiss taxes.
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  #30  
Old 21.05.2010, 00:54
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

That U-turn malarkey could have got you, I mean your friend, into seriously hot water -- not from the Swiss customs but from the Germans, who would have just stamped their approval to refunding German VAT but then watched as the item wan't exported after all. Straight-out tax evasion.
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  #31  
Old 21.05.2010, 01:05
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

As I mentioned, a friend of mine came to Basel Bad Bf Sunday night and, when he asked the only official looking person he could find, was told to just come back the next day.

So on Monday he went to the station, went to the German customs guy, and said that he came yesterday when they were shut and could they please stamp his form. He got his form stamped.

I decided not to copy exactly what my friend did (although I too arrived Sunday night at Basel Bad Bf) so cycled to Weil am Rhein instead. It seems that this is kind of allowed. It must be, as my friend was totally honest and got his form stamped. I decided just to say nothing and present the form with a smile.
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the item wan't exported after all
Well, it was exported, but around 18 hours earlier
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  #32  
Old 21.05.2010, 08:39
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Or, in the context of 22 Yards post, it was exported, just not at that crossing.

I did do a u-turn when the German side refused to stamp my form on the grounds that a B-permit wasn't proof that i wasn't resident in the EU.
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  #33  
Old 21.05.2010, 14:53
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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My neighbours got their form stamped on the German side, but the Swiss side was unattended. They got a demand for the tax due from the Swiss zoll, 3 months later. With penalties of course. The German border guard had shopped them.

They were told that they should have gone back another day when the Swiss guards were around. My neighbours have been in CH for over 30 years, and never knew this.
The other alternative being the "Schriftliche Anmeldung" postbox at all non-24 hr staffed Swiss Custom posts where the requisite form could have been completed and put in an envelope in the specially marked mailbox.
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  #34  
Old 21.05.2010, 14:59
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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...

I did do a u-turn when the German side refused to stamp my form on the grounds that a B-permit wasn't proof that i wasn't resident in the EU.
I find that strange. Did the officer specify what would constitute proof of non-EU residence? From experience of living in Germany, having documents recognized is difficult. EG A driving licence which is called a "Führeausweis" in CH is recognized as ID, but as it just a "Führerschein" in DE it is not (even a CH one in EU format, only a National ID or Passport is recognized).

The document in Post #1 helpfully states proof on non-EU residence can either be a border crossing document or a stamp in the Passport. I'd suggest having a "Heimatausweis" from the Gemeinde and/or a stamp of registration which the Gemeinde will usually happily put in the passport as follows in Section 1.2 "Als Wohnort im diesen Sinne gilt der Ort, der im Pass oder sonstigen Grenzübertrittspapier eingetragen ist." Having a printout of the document to show the Customs officer might help.
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  #35  
Old 21.05.2010, 17:49
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

It was a few years ago, and the German customs went through a period of being awkward about EU B-Permit holders. Then they started stamping "residency not proven". Then things returned to normal. Now I've a C-permit. Occasionally they ask where my car is, at the Weil-am-Rhein crossing.
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  #36  
Old 21.05.2010, 18:16
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

I think the official rule now (I'm sure there's a sticker on the German Weil am Rhein customs window) is that L permits aren't valid but B & C are.
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  #37  
Old 02.06.2010, 11:19
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

I just did a shop in germany and got a red stamp at the border when going back to basel. The stamp roughtly translated reads "Because the third-country property buyer could not be detected". Does anyone know what this means? I showed by swiss resident card so not sure if there is some problem or is this the normal stamp that you get on the green form?
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  #38  
Old 02.06.2010, 11:33
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

What is your permit type? G, L, C, B - or another type?
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  #39  
Old 02.06.2010, 11:44
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Have shopped there before no problem, but my husband handed in his permit which is also type D (like mine) and it was no problem. I just never noticed the red stamp before?
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  #40  
Old 02.06.2010, 12:33
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

I always get a red stamp; I never even looked at it (and it'll be in some crazy language I don't understand, such as German ...) and just assumed it was the stamp needed to get the refund. At least, I've always gotten my refund.
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