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Old 08.08.2013, 12:58
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Tax refund

Hi,

I live in Zurich and went to Singen for shopping. The german custom official at the Singen train station refused to stamp my tax refund form because I have the 'L' Permit.

Does anyone know the reason for this. Also, How do I get my tax refund in this case?
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  #2  
Old 08.08.2013, 13:03
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Re: Tax refund

The reason is because you have an L permit.

You officially can't get your tax back on an L permit.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:09
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Re: Tax refund

And what is the reason for that?
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:11
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Re: Tax refund

My friend in Basel also has 'L' permit, but she gets her tax refund at the basel train station. She doesn't get any stamp from germany.

Why is it different for Basel?
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:24
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Re: Tax refund

That's not possible. It's the German government that issues the tax refund (ultimately), ergo, you need a stamp from a representative of the German government to authorise the refund.

You've misunderstood your Basel friend's experience.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:27
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Re: Tax refund

I didnot misunderstand her experience because I was with her when she got the tax refund. We went for shopping in Lorrach and got the tax refund at Basel train station.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:29
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Re: Tax refund

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I didnot misunderstand her experience because I was with her when she got the tax refund. We went for shopping in Lorrach and got the tax refund at Basel train station.
Well in that case you have to recall the chain of events happened with you and with your friend to figure out what your friend had done differently to get the tax refund.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:34
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Re: Tax refund

So this means there is no way for me to get tax refund
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:40
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Re: Tax refund

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I didnot misunderstand her experience because I was with her when she got the tax refund. We went for shopping in Lorrach and got the tax refund at Basel train station.
Was it at the Global Blue office at Basel SBB? If so (and even if not), the German border guards will have had to stamp a form to authorise the refund.

By the way, Global Blue is probably the worst way of obtaining a refund, as they take a huge chunk in commissions -- but the alternative (100% refund) usually requires you to return to the merchant for the refund. However, in ALL cases, the tax refund form MUST be stamped by the German border guards.

If your friend got her form stamped with an L permit, it may be because the border guard didn't bother looking at the permit. In my experience, that's the case about half the time.

I'd be very surprised if Global Blue paid out a refund without the duly stamped forms. They would not be able to get the money themselves from the German treasury without the appropriately stamped documentation. If they did, it was a mistake.

Conclusion: you can't get a tax refund on an L permit (basic reason being that you're not a permanent resident of Switzerland).
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:42
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Re: Tax refund

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So this means there is no way for me to get tax refund
Exactly.

Unless you travel with someone on a B or C permit, or a Swiss citizen, who claims the refund on your behalf.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:54
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Re: Tax refund

She gets it stamped at the Basel train station only and gets refund from Global blue after that. I think they are Swiss customs official at the zoll at basel bad bf.

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Was it at the Global Blue office at Basel SBB? If so (and even if not), the German border guards will have had to stamp a form to authorise the refund.

By the way, Global Blue is probably the worst way of obtaining a refund, as they take a huge chunk in commissions -- but the alternative (100% refund) usually requires you to return to the merchant for the refund. However, in ALL cases, the tax refund form MUST be stamped by the German border guards.

If your friend got her form stamped with an L permit, it may be because the border guard didn't bother looking at the permit. In my experience, that's the case about half the time.

I'd be very surprised if Global Blue paid out a refund without the duly stamped forms. They would not be able to get the money themselves from the German treasury without the appropriately stamped documentation. If they did, it was a mistake.

Conclusion: you can't get a tax refund on an L permit (basic reason being that you're not a permanent resident of Switzerland).
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:55
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Re: Tax refund

That's bad. So now I am neither a tourist who can get tax refund at airports and nor a resident

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Exactly.

Unless you travel with someone on a B or C permit, or a Swiss citizen, who claims the refund on your behalf.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:58
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Re: Tax refund

Perhaps your friend used a different form of ID, not the the L permit? Perhaps she used her passport or a Swiss drivers license in which case the German boarder agent might have stamped it without checking her visa status. Just a thought.
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Old 08.08.2013, 13:59
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Re: Tax refund

Nope, she showed her L permit card only. But showing the passport is a good idea. I can try that next time

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Perhaps your friend used a different form of ID, not the the L permit? Perhaps she used her passport or a Swiss drivers license in which case the German boarder agent might have stamped it without checking her visa status. Just a thought.
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Old 08.08.2013, 14:07
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Re: Tax refund

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She gets it stamped at the Basel train station only and gets refund from Global blue after that. I think they are Swiss customs official at the zoll at basel bad bf.
I don't think so -- there are German Grenzpolizei at the "border" at Basel Badischer Bahnhof..
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Old 08.08.2013, 14:10
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Re: Tax refund

Okay...next time i go to basel, i will check again whether they are swiss or german.

thank you all for the replies

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I don't think so -- there are German Grenzpolizei at the "border" at Basel Badischer Bahnhof..
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Old 08.08.2013, 14:10
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Re: Tax refund

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Nope, she showed her L permit card only. But showing the passport is a good idea. I can try that next time
I'm not sure if that is such a good idea. I'm not sure but I assume you could get in trouble if you get checked at the Swiss side?

Or do the Swiss guys only care about checking the tax free limits and not the permit types?
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Old 08.08.2013, 14:14
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Re: Tax refund

Ohh...then i should better not try this...

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I'm not sure if that is such a good idea. I'm not sure but I assume you could get in trouble if you get checked at the Swiss side?

Or do the Swiss guys only care about checking the tax free limits and not the permit types?
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Old 08.08.2013, 14:19
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Re: Tax refund

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Ohh...then i should better not try this...
I'm not sure what the risks are, but you should be aware that you are not doing it legally before deciding to try out that alternative.

From my less than 10 experiences of border crossing, on the German side I think they do just stamp the forms without checking carefully, but they will certainly check some times (in my most recent shopping trip I'm pretty sure the officer at least pretended to look at my permit carefully).

And I was checked in the Swiss side once, although the officer just asked me if I had purchased meat, I showed him the stamped form with the list of items and he didn't ask me to open my backpack or check my permit.
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Old 08.08.2013, 14:21
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Re: Tax refund

Your are right. I shouldn't try this.

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I'm not sure what the risks are, but you should be aware that you are not doing it legally before deciding to try out that alternative.

From my less than 10 experiences of border crossing, on the German side I think they do just stamp the forms without checking carefully, but they will certainly check some times (in my most recent shopping trip I'm pretty sure the officer at least pretended to look at my permit carefully).

And I was checked in the Swiss side once, although the officer just asked me if I had purchased meat, I showed him the stamped form with the list of items and he didn't ask me to open my backpack or check my permit.
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