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  #41  
Old 13.05.2011, 14:03
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Hello,

does anyone had any experience on not declairing the VAT in switzerland, how much do you think is passable no to declare?
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  #42  
Old 13.05.2011, 14:17
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

It's passable no to declare up to the legal tax-free amount: CHF 300 per person, per day. There are further restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, meat and some other items.

That means that each person resident in Switzerland can import goods with a net value (net of foreign tax) of no more than CHF 300 per day.

This topic has been done to death on EF. Please search for relevant threads.
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  #43  
Old 13.05.2011, 14:39
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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Hello,

does anyone had any experience on not declairing the VAT in switzerland, how much do you think is passable no to declare?
Yes. You can illegal smuggle things across the border. If (when) you get caught, expect a world of pain.
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  #44  
Old 13.05.2011, 14:58
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Everytime time we go shopping across the border our groceries bag is worth c.a. EU100.- I see all folks queuing with green forms. We do not do that. Am I missing something??? Are these people buying tanks and granades?
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  #45  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:07
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Yes, you're missing out on getting the German MWSt (VAT) refunded, at no cost to you. On €100 you're missing out on a refund of anything from €6 to €16, depending on what you've bought.
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  #46  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:11
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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the Global Tax Ripoff alternative (they take up to half your refund as their fee!). .
Yeah about that... All shops who I asked that VAT thing gave me that crap global Tax refund.... I thought it was mandatory (although suspicious)

So there's an alternative to do the refund without them, interesting...
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  #47  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:14
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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Yeah about that... All shops who I asked that VAT thing gave me that crap global Tax refund.... I thought it was mandatory (although suspicious)

So there's an alternative to do the refund without them, interesting...
Shops near the border often do the proper tax forms; shops not near the border don't bother and assume you're going to fly out the country (and not come back for ages, so you won't return to the shop to get your cash back) and hence use Global Refund. Even for the same chain of shops, it depends on the location.

Although some, like the bike shop near Stuttgart, are cool and will help you do whatever you want.
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Old 13.05.2011, 15:24
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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Yes, you're missing out on getting the German MWSt (VAT) refunded, at no cost to you. On €100 you're missing out on a refund of anything from €6 to €16, depending on what you've bought.
That's true. Although one time I asked for such form on shopping worth EU80.- then I saw the crowds and traffic of cars waiting at the custom in the rain. I said to myself forget it. On the otherhand if you do a simple math 10 trips will cover fuel expenses (EU60-EU160). We don't buy any hardware or houseware but merely food and drinks. Maybe should look at it differently in a more pragmatic Swiss way
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  #49  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:27
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

With the "global tax refund" whatever scheme, you have 3 months to stamp the thing at the latest EU country you'll exit (ie germany here).

So I think if you don't stamp it immediately its not a big deal.

Edit:
Nevermind this post- I forgot the "perishable thing" and the in/out of the country

Last edited by CorsebouTheReturn; 13.05.2011 at 15:39. Reason: update
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Old 13.05.2011, 15:32
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

You have to get your form (whichever type you use) stamped when you leave the EU at the end of your trip, at the final point of departure from the EU -- i.e. when you export the goods from the EU. So technically, no, you can't just saunter back a couple of months later. Not just technically, either, as the customs person may ask to see your "fresh" fish, eggs, milk, etc before they'll stamp the form, and may be slightly dubious if you bought all those perishable goods three months before.
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  #51  
Old 13.05.2011, 15:38
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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You have to get your form (whichever type you use) stamped when you leave the EU at the end of your trip, at the final point of departure from the EU -- i.e. when you export the goods from the EU. So technically, no, you can't just saunter back a couple of months later. Not just technically, either, as the customs person may ask to see your "fresh" fish, eggs, milk, etc before they'll stamp the form, and may be slightly dubious if you bought all those perishable goods three months before.
True
Forgot about that
My "goods" was a hard drive always with me. I forgot about perishable things.

Sorry for confusion
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Old 13.05.2011, 18:28
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

ok, fo for example, if I buy something that is around 3500 € reclaim the VAT and then never declare it in CH, how much would be the fine???
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  #53  
Old 13.05.2011, 18:38
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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ok, fo for example, if I buy something that is around 3500 € reclaim the VAT and then never declare it in CH, how much would be the fine???
Twice the VAT you've illegally avoided, plus you'd have to pay the VAT anyway -- so you're up for three times the Swiss MWSt (24% on non-food items, making your purchase 5% more expensive than buying it in D/F).

At €3,500, I can almost guarantee that a) the German/French/whatever customs officer will take a note of your details and inform their Swiss counterparts, to check that you do go and pay the Swiss VAT, and b) the Swiss will be mightily annoyed that you've tried to cheat them -- they will make you wait a veeeeeeery long time while they process your fine on the spot, and they might also dream up some additional punishment.

It's just not worth it. Even if you do pay the Swiss VAT, you're still ahead by better than 10%.

But go ahead, and please let us know how it goes.
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  #54  
Old 13.05.2011, 18:49
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

They can charge up to 5 times the VAT for the fine actually
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  #55  
Old 13.05.2011, 19:22
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Don't forget it may not just be the VAT you're avoiding, but also import duties.
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Old 13.05.2011, 19:31
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Tomorrow we are going shopping across the border again three of us in the car. Pick a green form, pick not, pick, pick not.... it's a question

EDIT: After paying my hefty fine I became somewhat more paranoid about every single rule. So please keep them coming
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Old 13.05.2011, 19:36
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

Of course, take the form. Why not? It takes a minute to get it stamped, that's all.

You then have six months to go and claim your refund from the shop where you bought your items, and you can accumulate as many forms as you like to present in one big heap -- so it's not exactly arduous, and the cash* back is a nice "surprise".

* I hardly ever withdraw euros (or change CHF into euros), because my VAT refunds give me all the pocket money I need for D and F. Most purchases there go on my credit card.

So ... what was this hefty fine you got?
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  #58  
Old 13.05.2011, 19:38
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

I almost always get the green form when shopping over the border in Germany, even though I'm just buying for myself. It only takes a few seconds to get the form and as I cycle back across the border I've never had to wait more than two minutes to get my form stamped. Usually there's no queue at all.

I don't get much back but it feels great the next time I go back to think a couple of bottles of beer are "free"!

France doesn't do the same (no VAT refund forms unless you spend loads) but I still shop in France anyway.

I love living in Basel for this kind of stuff.
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Old 13.05.2011, 19:41
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

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France doesn't do the same (no VAT refund forms unless you spend loads) but I still shop in France anyway.
Yup, France only offers tax-free shopping for purchases over €175, which is a) a lot of groceries, especially on a bike, and b) perilously close to the CHF 300 personal tax-free limit -- or rather, it used to be before the euro tanked.

Also, the form-filling in France is seriously painful, with reams of paper to itemise the tax on virtually every item you purchase (at least at Casino, anyway), and you must present your Swiss permit (which I ALWAYS seem to leave in the car) in the shop.

I knew you knew that already, adrianlondon ... just thought it might help someone else. I'm all heart, me.
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Old 13.05.2011, 19:55
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Re: Reclaiming German MWST

I didn't know all that, actually, I was simply told not to bother in France - so I never have

You use a credit card when shopping abroad ... which one? I alwys pay cash as I feel I'm being slightly less screwed on the currency conversion with my PostFinance card drawing Euros.

I have a UK card with no foreign withdrawal fees at all, but that account is close to empty so not much use to me right now.
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