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Old 23.03.2007, 20:32
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German Value Added Tax

I have a question that is Swiss/German related...

I am looking into opening an ecommerce site, registered in Zurich, while I will team up with the logistics center / importer in Munich for my products. Thus, an order will be made via my site, sent to Munich and will be packed there and sent to any customer within EU countries.

My question - for each product i buy from the German company , i need to pay the Tax (which was just highered to 19%).

Anybody has the knowledge or knows maybe where can i satrt searching, whether i can NOT pay this vat, as my company will be registered here? and b) since all customers will be from the EU, is there a way not pay the vat?

thanks for any idea.
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Old 23.03.2007, 20:58
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Re: German Value Added Tax

Quite simple. The manufacturer in Germany should not charge you their VAT. Make sure they deduct it as they are exporting to Switzerland as it is not a EU country. You will have to pay Swiss VAT (MWSt) and import duty (two different fees) and the declaration/handling charges from the shipping company. Depending on the forwarder you pay upon delivery or you will get a separate invoice from the forwarder at a later date. This you will have to clarify as soon as you know who is shipping the goods.

Do check on the fees the shipping company charges for import declaration - it varies a lot....

You can apply for an import number from the import authorities (Oberzolldirektion) - your company then needs to register in the commercial registry office of your community/canton. An import number is, however, not strictly necessary.
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Old 23.03.2007, 21:01
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Re: German Value Added Tax

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Thus, an order will be made via my site, sent to Munich and will be packed there and sent to any customer within EU countries.
- Sorry - missed this sentence, which is probably the most relevant. Can't help you there - the reply I posted before is for imports to Switzerland only.
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Old 23.03.2007, 21:05
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Re: German Value Added Tax

As far as I know, goods leaving one EU country and being sold retail to someone in another EU country are subject to VAT in the source country, and thats it. I don't think it matters that your company is registered in Switzerland. Wholesale or B2B might be another kettle of fish.
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Old 23.03.2007, 21:46
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Re: German Value Added Tax

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As far as I know, goods leaving one EU country and being sold retail to someone in another EU country are subject to VAT in the source country, and thats it. I don't think it matters that your company is registered in Switzerland. Wholesale or B2B might be another kettle of fish.
Well done, you are quite right!

What guybrush is suggesting is tax evasion ie illegal! In order to avoid paying VAT in the EU, you need to be EU registered and NOT the end customer unless the product in question is for company use in the line of business. You can check anyone within the EU on this site http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/vies/en/vieshome.htm.
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Old 23.03.2007, 23:03
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Re: German Value Added Tax

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Well done, you are quite right!
Yay! I think I have been right now twice in a row. Do I get a smilie stamp for that?
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Old 02.04.2007, 21:10
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Re: German Value Added Tax

Hi falks,

sorry for the late reply..

Thank you for your info. Richard, I did not mean any illegal way, what i implied, based on the fact that i understood from the CH tax site that as a company, products i buy in DE and pay VAT there i can get a refund in the border, so was wondering, if my conatct in Munich can avoid paying vat there, as my products will be "sold" to a swiss company....
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Old 03.04.2007, 00:12
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Re: German Value Added Tax

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Hi falks,

sorry for the late reply..

Thank you for your info. Richard, I did not mean any illegal way, what i implied, based on the fact that i understood from the CH tax site that as a company, products i buy in DE and pay VAT there i can get a refund in the border, so was wondering, if my conatct in Munich can avoid paying vat there, as my products will be "sold" to a swiss company....
Hi, I understand that you are not wanting to do anything illegal just not sure of the law. You can indeed reclaim the VAT and duty paid in Germany when and only when the goods are imported ie cross the Swiss border. In other words you can import them from Germany and then take them back over the border and post them or indeed down the road to the Swiss PO. The point being that when the goods reenter Germany they are usually, dependent on value, liable for VAT and potentially duty - you of course are now not going to need to pay this.

What you cannot do is virtualize the crossing the border...
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