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Old 09.12.2011, 10:14
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Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

I received an order from Amazon.co.uk yesterday and was quite surprised at the tax assessment customs have decided to charge me.

The total cost of my order came to 56.65 Euro (69.78 CHF) with customs deciding to charge me 26.80 CHF tax. Isn't this a bit steep? I understood there was an 8% tax for the online items I bought (2 video games, 1 DVD and a CD). These items were on sale so I thought I'd make a saving and would just pay a small amount of tax. If it is 8%, then I should be charged 5.58 CHF in tax. Out of principal I find this unfair if this is the case.

Can someone please advise me if this calculation is indeed wrong or if there is something I am missing. If so, when I go to the post office tomorrow what must I do to show them that this assessment is unfair? For example, I have printed out the email bill from Amazon (which would also be in the box for customs to see). I have also calculated what 8% of this amount would be in Swiss francs and written it on the bill to show the postal worker I will speak with. Can they change the amount of tax they charge me on the spot if I prove this to them?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:18
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

have a look at the bill again ... I think you'll find that it is about 5.58 CHf in tax and then tacked onto that an admin fee and a third sort of handling fee

I forget exactly how they are phrased but everyone gets a little cut.
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:20
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

If you search the forum, you will see many, many, many threads talking about tax on imports. There is also an 18CHF admin fee on every package (which is also taxed, along with postage). This is where the extra is coming from.


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I received an order from Amazon.co.uk yesterday and was quite surprised at the tax assessment customs have decided to charge me.

The total cost of my order came to 56.65 Euro (69.78 CHF) with customs deciding to charge me 26.80 CHF tax. Isn't this a bit steep? I understood there was an 8% tax for the online items I bought (2 video games, 1 DVD and a CD). These items were on sale so I thought I'd make a saving and would just pay a small amount of tax. If it is 8%, then I should be charged 5.58 CHF in tax. Out of principal I find this unfair if this is the case.

Can someone please advise me if this calculation is indeed wrong or if there is something I am missing. If so, when I go to the post office tomorrow what must I do to show them that this assessment is unfair? For example, I have printed out the email bill from Amazon (which would also be in the box for customs to see). I have also calculated what 8% of this amount would be in Swiss francs and written it on the bill to show the postal worker I will speak with. Can they change the amount of tax they charge me on the spot if I prove this to them?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:23
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

Probably something said in this post will better explain it for you.

Swiss Post Fees (Rant and clarification)
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:33
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

Items below 62 chf including postage are tax free, books the limit is 200 IIRC.
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:42
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

If amazon sent the items seperatley then you would not have been charged anything.

I suggest either ordering the items seperatley in the future from amazon or have a look at play.com, they send everything seperatley (even if you order 20 things at the same time), are very cheap, and charge nothing for delivery.

cheers
SC
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Old 09.12.2011, 10:46
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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If amazon sent the items seperatley then you would not have been charged anything.

I suggest either ordering the items seperatley in the future from amazon or have a look at play.com, they send everything seperatley (even if you order 20 things at the same time), are very cheap, and charge nothing for delivery.

cheers
SC
but think of all that extra packaging... you tree killer you !!!

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Old 09.12.2011, 10:51
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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I suggest either ordering the items seperatley in the future from amazon or have a look at play.com, they send everything seperatley (even if you order 20 things at the same time), are very cheap, and charge nothing for delivery.

cheers
SC
Sorry, I disagree - Play.com have shipped to me in the past, separately packed, but the total amount declared on only one package, which in turn put me over the treshold and I had to pay the VAT and handling on that of course..

Better to order the goods completely separate.

My 2 cents
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Old 09.12.2011, 11:19
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

Wow. You live and learn. An 18 CHF Admin fee for 5 minutes of their time...interesting. At the same time, why am I not surprised.

I briefly thought about taxes when I submitted my order as I could have chosen to have each good delivered separately but it would have cost me 10 euro extra (it's cheaper if you group your order) so I thought I'd take a chance. I guess that's a bad idea in Switzerland but come on, 18 CHF as an admin fee for that...they gotta be kidding me.
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Old 09.12.2011, 12:11
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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I briefly thought about taxes when I submitted my order as I could have chosen to have each good delivered separately but it would have cost me 10 euro extra (it's cheaper if you group your order) so I thought I'd take a chance.
Yes, but you could also have been charged CHF18 per item, if they had to process it through customs, even if there was no tax due on the item. In my experience:
  • Books come through from both UK & DE no problem
  • DVD etc always get charged from the UK
  • DVDs etc from DE, more often than not get through OK, but occasionally are charged
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Old 09.12.2011, 12:22
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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but think of all that extra packaging... you tree killer you !!!

Maybe the Swiss government ought to think about this as a consequence of their customs duties policies, since they're all environmentally conscious with their garbage separation rules.

I mean. Really. do you have to charge duty on every little stupid thing that comes in the post? really? WIRKLICH????
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Old 09.12.2011, 12:54
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

I'm not sure why it is different, but we order our books from amazon.de, and we never pay customs. I think there must be some agreement in place. Anyhow, you can try them next time, their selection is fine.
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Old 09.12.2011, 13:00
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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I'm not sure why it is different, but we order our books from amazon.de, and we never pay customs. I think there must be some agreement in place. Anyhow, you can try them next time, their selection is fine.
Do you spend more than 200CHF on books in one order? If not then you are within the tax-free limits anyway.
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Old 09.12.2011, 13:34
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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Yes, but you could also have been charged CHF18 per item, if they had to process it through customs, even if there was no tax due on the item. In my experience:
  • Books come through from both UK & DE no problem
  • DVD etc always get charged from the UK
  • DVDs etc from DE, more often than not get through OK, but occasionally are charged
I've _never_ been charged on any of these things. I always keep my shipments below 50CHF value, incl. postage and packing.
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Old 09.12.2011, 14:35
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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I've _never_ been charged on any of these things. I always keep my shipments below 50CHF value, incl. postage and packing.
Same here. We've never been charged for books, CDs pr DVDs from either amazon.de or amazon uk. We Always try to keep below the limits too.
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Old 09.12.2011, 14:56
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

Remember you get free postage on orders from amazon.de. So it's worth breaking your orders up to meet the limits.
You can order all English books from them, though they may take a day or two more to fulfill the order.
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Old 09.12.2011, 15:02
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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Remember you get free postage on orders from amazon.de. So it's worth breaking your orders up to meet the limits.
You can order all English books from them, though they may take a day or two more to fulfill the order.
yes you can order English books from them.. or in the case of my Kindle... I have to order from them...and hey what fun.. the books are obviously in English but to navigate there you still need a smidgen of German and the section titles ( bestsellers, bio, history, etc ) are still in German

bloody nuisance!!

/rant
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Old 09.12.2011, 16:21
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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I've _never_ been charged on any of these things. I always keep my shipments below 50CHF value, incl. postage and packing.
OK, mine are usually around the CHF150 or so. But now with the Kindle I think it will be zero very soon.
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Old 09.12.2011, 16:24
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

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Maybe the Swiss government ought to think about this as a consequence of their customs duties policies, since they're all environmentally conscious with their garbage separation rules.
Actually I don't have the problem with the duty, it's all the admin charges that the Post adds to it that is the killer! Five or six francs suddenly becomes fifty when the Post is done with!!!
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Old 01.01.2012, 23:05
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Re: Taxed too heavily on Amazon delivery?

Has anybody tried to order stuff from amazon.de (or any other German on-line shop) delivered to an address somewhere in Germany, e.g. German friend or colleague, and then pick it up by yourself and go through the customs with "tax-free form" stamped?
If it's possible at all, do you know how to request a tax-free form from Amazon and how to get a refund then?
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