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Old 22.10.2013, 20:42
ChrisNeedsToKnow ChrisNeedsToKnow is offline
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Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.

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So the bottom line is, when you order stuff from Amazon, if it is books under 192 CHF you are VAT free (wow),
As the free allowance is per package, not per day, it´s practically unlimited for books, unless you find a single book which is above the allowance. In all other cases, just split your order into as many packages as needed.

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but generally only if under 62.5 CHF (which would correspond to 5 CHF at 8%) for other items, otherwise you get stung an extra 45 by the post office for the "favour" on top of the swiss VAT. That handling fee is very steep percentage-wise unless you are ordering something really expensive.
yes - and they´re dead serious about this. I once had to pay 6.xx CHF, and 45 for the pleasure to be allowed to do so

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And I imagine that if you do pay the French/German VAT ordering something from a vendor that doesn't deduct, the Post might think you didn't pay any VAT and still charge the handling fee + swiss VAT, no?
Swiss VAT is calculated on

((netvalue + postage) * >>official fx-rate of yesterday<<) * applicable Swiss VAT rate = amount due

Swiss VAT is never added on top of the foreign VAT, no matter if the sender (incorrectly) charged it or (correctly) omitted it.

Last but not least, there might be a seperate customs duty. That depends on where the goods originate from, and some other details. I´m currently trying to get the hang of these details for professional reasons, but didn´t quite catch 100% of that yet... It doesn´t apply if the goods are from the EU, so in most cases there should be nothing to worry about.

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 22.10.2013 at 20:53.
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