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Old 29.09.2021, 14:34
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Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

I've seen this mentioned in the news a couple of times recently - whether it'll actually be implemented (CHF300 down to CHF50 per day) is another matter as policing it will be nigh on impossible without causing total chaos at the borders...but here are the two sources I've come across on the topic:

https://www.worldradio.ch/news/bites...e-tax-changes/

https://lenews.ch/2021/09/23/swiss-t...-to-50-francs/

It doesn't seem to be fake news - apparently the proposal has already been cleared by parliament - but am sure others have feelings on the subject...
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Old 29.09.2021, 14:40
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

Why doesn't this go to the public vote?

It would be idea -Yes/No with the consequences explained by going with the new limit, or retaining the old one.

I appreciate that no initiative was created for this change but in a country of direct democracy, this type of thing is more typical of a parliamentary democracy.

It doesn't bother me either way - I don't shop much abroad. The only reason I'd give to stop it is that it does provide a bit of competition to the Swiss retailers and keeps them on their toes.
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Old 29.09.2021, 14:57
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

At the moment the border guards do not collect taxes when the tax is under CHF 5.-.
So with Swiss food tax at 2.5% one could buy up to CHF 200 of groceries abroad without paying any Swiss tax.

Anyway since Schengen, many border posts are not manned (womanned?).

The whole idea is unworkable political nonsense.
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:15
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

Border posts are still wo/manned - but in a different manner. Local posts have been amalgamated with others per region, and smaller posts are now wo/manned for 2 hours per day, times computer generated daily. They have also switched 'tactics' eg have massively increased stops away from border, in lay-bys or car parks along the route, and also patrols all along minor routes, including small mountain ones- 24/7.
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:17
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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Anyway since Schengen, many border posts are not manned (womanned?).
When I was in Basel, the border guards liked to set up blocks a couple of hundred metres after the border, just out of sight. If you'd not filled in your declaration, I'm guessing you were in bother.
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:21
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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When I was in Basel, the border guards liked to set up blocks a couple of hundred metres after the border, just out of sight. If you'd not filled in your declaration, I'm guessing you were in bother.
They can charge and fine a lot more if they catch someone with more meat, etc, above allowance, away from border. At the border, you have the choice to 'own up and declare' - if you go beyond, with more- it is considered intentional.
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:34
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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They can charge and fine a lot more if they catch someone with more meat, etc, above allowance, away from border. At the border, you have the choice to 'own up and declare' - if you go beyond, with more- it is considered intentional.

If you "own up and declare" AFTER stating you have nothing to declare, you pay the applicalbe VAT & duties and a FINE, is it 3 times duties ??? irrespective if you are at the border or away from the border
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:42
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

While I agree in principle, I don't think it will actually be workable. But one thing is clear if this is agreed, this will reduce the pressure on Swiss retailers to price their goods more related to their actual costs, rather than what the market will bear.

I don't shop often in France, so ultimately this won't affect me.
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:51
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

The thinking behind this is mainly to dissuade swiss residents crossing the borders to do their food shopping, the local supermarkets have been complaining for years that they're losing trade because of it.
From what I've been reading it will only apply if you've crossed the border for less than 24h, otherwise the usual/older tax rules are followed.
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Old 29.09.2021, 15:56
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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The thinking behind this is mainly to dissuade swiss residents crossing the borders to do their food shopping, the local supermarkets have been complaining for years that they're losing trade because of it.
From what I've been reading it will only apply if you've crossed the border for less than 24h, otherwise the usual/older tax rules are followed.
As I mentioned with 2.5% Swiss tax on food and them not collecting a tax of less than CHF 5.- I do not see this as much of a deterrent?
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Old 29.09.2021, 16:28
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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The thinking behind this is mainly to dissuade swiss residents crossing the borders to do their food shopping, the local supermarkets have been complaining for years that they're losing trade because of it.
From what I've been reading it will only apply if you've crossed the border for less than 24h, otherwise the usual/older tax rules are followed.
I normally spend less than 50, so no big deal.
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Old 29.09.2021, 16:32
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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I normally spend less than 50, so no big deal.

Tom, you're not normal
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Old 29.09.2021, 16:37
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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I normally spend less than 50, so no big deal.
The french supermarkets near me are often packed with people doing massive shops, at the weekend two-thirds of the number-plates are probably GE and VD.

It's not going to bother me either, I tend to shop in Switzerland but live in France so am usually taking stuff the other way!
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Old 29.09.2021, 16:43
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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As I mentioned with 2.5% Swiss tax on food and them not collecting a tax of less than CHF 5.- I do not see this as much of a deterrent?
so it's more like a reduction from 300 to 200?
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Old 29.09.2021, 16:55
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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The thinking behind this is mainly to dissuade swiss residents crossing the borders to do their food shopping, the local supermarkets have been complaining for years that they're losing trade because of it.
Well when the service and convenience are better across the border than in CH, they shouldn't be complaining. Offer daily hours til 21h and Sunday shopping (like in France) then maybe they wouldn't lose business.
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Old 29.09.2021, 16:56
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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From what I've been reading it will only apply if you've crossed the border for less than 24h, otherwise the usual/older tax rules are followed.
Whew, the mind boggles at the potential work of anyone claiming or proving how long any person spent on the other side of the border...
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Old 29.09.2021, 17:23
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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They can charge and fine a lot more if they catch someone with more meat, etc, above allowance, away from border. At the border, you have the choice to 'own up and declare' - if you go beyond, with more- it is considered intentional.

Never been stopped/checked at the border in all of my 16 years here. I did go to the office voluntarily just last Saturday to conclude the importation of two cats. But that's it. I guess they 'know' what/who they're looking for.
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Old 29.09.2021, 17:46
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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Whew, the mind boggles at the potential work of anyone claiming or proving how long any person spent on the other side of the border...

The onus is on the driver to prove he has been in France longer....


Credit card payments
Hotel bill
Restaurant bill
Highway toll bill
Whatever bill


Without any of these it will be considered less than 24 hours and up to you to prove the contrary.
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Old 29.09.2021, 17:51
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

And contrary to popular belief there are license plate cameras at most crossings, at least in La Côte. (Both FR and CH)

Source: A border guard who lives in our village.
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Old 29.09.2021, 17:55
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Re: Potential changes to the CHF300 cross border tax free daily allowance...

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Well when the service and convenience are better across the border than in CH, they shouldn't be complaining. Offer daily hours til 21h and Sunday shopping (like in France) then maybe they wouldn't lose business.
The vast majority of shops in France are closed on Sunday, supermarket included.

Things are more expensive here for a reason (compare salaries and charges, insurance, etc- it is all very clear). I for one am delighted that shop workers here have proper time off with their families, unlike the UK where out of hours shopping hours were initially voluntary and later imposed. Accept or lose your job.

Border guards watch the triumphant faces as people go through un/wo/manned posts and delight in catching them a few km down the road. (from border guards who are neighbours, lol).

Last edited by JackieH; 29.09.2021 at 18:07.
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