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Old 20.04.2011, 10:12
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Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

Hi everybody,

Being heavily pregnant with my second child, I decided to buy my pram on the internet, from a website based in the Netherlands.

The bill clearly stipulates that 19% VAT IS included in the price. However, I'm obviously going to be taxed at the Swiss customs for the Swiss VAT (8%).

As I don't wish to pay VAT twice, do you know how I can reclaim the 19% one? The website doesn't offer that service, I've asked. And as my pram is being shipped to me by post, I can't stop at the customs to fill in the special form.

Any idea? Thanks!
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Old 20.04.2011, 20:47
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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Hi everybody,

Being heavily pregnant with my second child, I decided to buy my pram on the internet, from a website based in the Netherlands.

The bill clearly stipulates that 19% VAT IS included in the price. However, I'm obviously going to be taxed at the Swiss customs for the Swiss VAT (8%).

As I don't wish to pay VAT twice, do you know how I can reclaim the 19% one? The website doesn't offer that service, I've asked. And as my pram is being shipped to me by post, I can't stop at the customs to fill in the special form.

Any idea? Thanks!
I brought our pram from Holland with me, but I have a similar problem, after I ordered some ski gear, worth only 50 euro from Germany. I did not expect a letter from the Zoll afterwards, asking to pay again VAT (8%), as I already paid -of course- the EU VAT. It is not much but an explanation would be welcome too.
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Old 20.04.2011, 20:53
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

You pay Swiss VAT regardless of whether or not you pay other VAT.

It's up to YOU to ensure that you don't pay foreign VAT, just don't buy from those who are too lazy to fill out the forms so that you don't have to pay it!

Tom
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Old 20.04.2011, 21:10
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

OK thanks. But is there no minimum, under what the Swiss tax is waived? What about ordering from China (dealextreme.com)?
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Old 20.04.2011, 21:12
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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You pay Swiss VAT regardless of whether or not you pay other VAT.

It's up to YOU to ensure that you don't pay foreign VAT, just don't buy from those who are too lazy to fill out the forms so that you don't have to pay it!

Tom

What he said. As far as I know you have to make sure the foreign VAT is deducted from the initial bill (i.e you never pay it). That's what we did when we bought our pram from Germany. The German VAT was deducted by the seller and the Swiss VAT added by the postal company.
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:22
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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What he said. As far as I know you have to make sure the foreign VAT is deducted from the initial bill (i.e you never pay it). That's what we did when we bought our pram from Germany. The German VAT was deducted by the seller and the Swiss VAT added by the postal company.
So there is no way to contact the customs afterward to claim the VAT back??? Grrr...
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:29
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

You claim the VAT back *FROM THE SHOP* - Customs don't refund any money; they simply stamp a form to say you've left the country (if you're exporting the goods yourself). Many people don't seem to get this.

Switzerland charges tax on imports if they cost over 300 CHF in total. However, if you're not importing things yourself they could get stopped at customs anyway and you'll pay a fee to them, and the post office, for their handling.
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:42
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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Switzerland charges tax on imports if they cost over 300 CHF in total.
If you bring them in personally.

If they are shipped, I think the limit is CHF 50 or perhaps less.

Tom
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:43
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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You claim the VAT back *FROM THE SHOP* - Customs don't refund any money; they simply stamp a form to say you've left the country (if you're exporting the goods yourself). Many people don't seem to get this.

Switzerland charges tax on imports if they cost over 300 CHF in total. However, if you're not importing things yourself they could get stopped at customs anyway and you'll pay a fee to them, and the post office, for their handling.
Correct, the span is between 75 and 300 Chuffs.
But to get your money back from a shop in NL? Dont know if that would be worth it, have you considered getting your pram from just over the border in Germany?
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:45
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

Oh just seen where Lutry is, maybe France then?
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:46
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

Amazon.de and amazon.co.uk manage to deduct VAT before shipping the CH. The website you're buying the pram from should be able to as well - if they want the custom.
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:49
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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Oh just seen where Lutry is, maybe France then?
Close to Lausanne, so quite far from Germany yes...

Well, I ordered a bugaboo, so even if I end up paying VAT twice it will still be around 30% cheaper than if I had bought it in CH...
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:51
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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Amazon.de and amazon.co.uk manage to deduct VAT before shipping the CH. The website you're buying the pram from should be able to as well - if they want the custom.
Yeah, I know about amazon, I very often order stuff from them.

But this special website doesn't do it, I specifically asked. I don't why though... But they offer the cheapest prices I could find for the stroller I want.
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:56
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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But this special website doesn't do it, I specifically asked. I don't why though... But they offer the cheapest prices I could find for the stroller I want.
You give yourself the answer: Having a tax refund system in place costs money and effort. If you are a discount shop that has a focus on price, you offer a simple service for the lowest price. This includes to be willing to piss off 0.7% potential Swiss customers if this means you can offer the stroller some 0.30 EUR cheaper to the 99.3% EU customers... basically a "take it or leave it" attitude.

I have more than once still bought at online traders that offered the best price as they were still cheaper than the regular shops with tax refund.
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Old 21.04.2011, 10:57
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

Most web shops I buy from in the UK will automatically deduct the VAT from the total bill when shipping to CH. If the website doesn't do this, you need to call the shop and ask them. If they can't/won't then take your business elsewhere as otherwise you will end up being stuffed...
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Old 21.04.2011, 13:53
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Re: Buying abroad and paying VAT twice

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You give yourself the answer: Having a tax refund system in place costs money and effort. If you are a discount shop that has a focus on price, you offer a simple service for the lowest price. This includes to be willing to piss off 0.7% potential Swiss customers if this means you can offer the stroller some 0.30 EUR cheaper to the 99.3% EU customers... basically a "take it or leave it" attitude.

I have more than once still bought at online traders that offered the best price as they were still cheaper than the regular shops with tax refund.
This is exactly right and a lot of smaller "box shifting" companies aren't well versed on export laws and paperwork, it's simply not worth their time as most of the business is EU based.

I would be surprised if you could claim the VAT back from the vendor as, for export, they have issued the wrong invoice and have no proof it leaving the country officially; thus Dutch customs will want the VAT from them
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