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-   -   How to claim back VAT from online purchases. (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/190798-how-claim-back-vat-online-purchases.html)

ChrisNeedsToKnow 23.10.2013 09:57

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
I have no idea why I thought if the 45. That was just plain wrong.

However, I wonder about amazon.de: I can order books alright, but for most other items they tell me "No shippping to Switzerland" (or indeed anywhere outside Germany).

Anyone had the same experience?

ChrisNeedsToKnow 23.10.2013 10:01

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 2003051)
Thanks.

They seem to keep changing.

First it was CHF 18, then CHF 16 + 3%, now it depends on from where. :rolleyes:

Tom

Here´s the actual source:
http://www.post.ch/en/post-startseit...l.htm#txt33019

This is only applicable if the package is delivered by Swiss Post. If the package arrives via FedEX, UPS or any other company than "Swiss Post" they each have their own fees.

(I guess that´s also why I remembered being charged the ominous 45 at some stage...)

Belgianmum 23.10.2013 10:02

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisNeedsToKnow (Post 2003053)
I have no idea why I thought if the 45. That was just plain wrong.

However, I wonder about amazon.de: I can order books alright, but for most other items they tell me "No shippping to Switzerland" (or indeed anywhere outside Germany).

Anyone had the same experience?

Books are fine from Amazon.de but for other things it really depends on what it is and whether it's sold directly by Amazon or one of their third party sellers.
Toys are usually OK but electronics are usually a no no. There is a list on their website somewhere which gives details of what they will ship to each country.

fatmanfilms 23.10.2013 10:17

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Sent by courier you can't get the taxes back, however if the seller exported them, VAT should not have been charged assuming the shipper was working for the seller & not the buyer.

axman 23.10.2013 12:05

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisNeedsToKnow (Post 2003062)
This is only applicable if the package is delivered by Swiss Post. If the package arrives via FedEX, UPS or any other company than "Swiss Post" they each have their own fees.

(I guess that´s also why I remembered being charged the ominous 45 at some stage...)

Actually Fedex and UPS are ok as they charge about Fr.18. (Swiss Post gets very expensive once you pass Fr.500. The really bad one is DHL which charges Fr.35 I think. Then again, my info is old as I have not had any imports in about a year.

Belgianmum 23.10.2013 12:24

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by axman (Post 2003206)
Actually Fedex and UPS are ok as they charge about Fr.18. (Swiss Post gets very expensive once you pass Fr.500. The really bad one is DHL which charges Fr.35 I think. Then again, my info is old as I have not had any imports in about a year.

Nope you're not wrong. DHL is terrible. Their fees are horrendous.

I used to order stuff from Marks and Spencer and didn't even mind that they don't remove the VAT as for some things only M&S will do but now they've started using DHL instead if La Poste for shipping so I won't use them any more.

I ordered for £21 recently and even including the £7.50 delivery this was still well within the limit for not paying taxes. DHL sent me a bill for the Swiss tax for the entire order plus their fees. They had calculated delivery as £45:eek: which obviously made the total over the limit. I successfully challenged the tax bit and got reimbursed for it but still had to pay the 38 chf 'fees' to DHL.:msnmad:

BaselPT 23.10.2013 13:22

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Lots of interesting info on this thread. Thanks everyone that is contributing and the OP for starting it off.

Regarding Amazon.de and what they ship to Switzerland, I found the page:
http://www.amazon.de/gp/help/custome...&nodeId=505554

Regarding Switzerland, they charge starting at 3.25 for delivery (plus a price per kg) of items other than books as long as it is below the 20 Eur threshold, and it has the following note:

** Free delivery is not available for certain other items from our Elektronik & Foto (Electronics and Photo), Küche, Haus & Garten (Kitchen, House & Garden), Drogerie & Bad (Health & Personal Care), Parfümerie & Kosmetik (Beauty), Bekleidung & Schuhe (Apparel & Shoes), Baumarkt & Auto (Tools & Automotive), Spielwaren (Toys), Bürobedarf (Office Products), Lebensmittel & Getränke (Grocery) and Sport & Freizeit (Sports & Leisure) shops.
Certain items from these shops cannot be dispatched via our regular couriers due to their size or nature. We offer a special delivery service for these items. In addition, certain items from these shops cannot be dispatched to all countries.

Given that is most of their departments (if not all other than books) I think one just has to check on a case by case basis. And save delivery costs by going over 20 EUR, which isn't that hard.

LargeDragon 23.10.2013 13:35

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
My experience for a package containing no invoice or shipping note is that you get a letter asking you to send them a copy of same so they can work out how much is due. From memory this letter costs an additional CHF6 or so :msncrazy: (then add tax & collection fee etc).

st2lemans 23.10.2013 13:39

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Belgianmum (Post 2003226)
Nope you're not wrong. DHL is terrible. Their fees are horrendous.

Unless the shipper uses DHL's pre-paid service, in which case about CHF 9 gets added to the order.

It's worked that way for me for several shipments of motorcycle parts from Germany.

Tom

Zentachi 24.10.2013 14:22

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
But what if the pack comes from your mother or girlfriend?It might be something you forgot back home!

Anyways so far two packages were open (one from my gf) and one from an order from China.
The first one had items of some value but didn't ask for anything, the Chinese one was just velcro tape (around 1$)

Waiting one more package from my mother, a couple more from China (value around 2$) and one from UK (value around 30$) lets see if they will open any of them!


Quote:

Originally Posted by LargeDragon (Post 2003308)
My experience for a package containing no invoice or shipping note is that you get a letter asking you to send them a copy of same so they can work out how much is due. From memory this letter costs an additional CHF6 or so :msncrazy: (then add tax & collection fee etc).


ChrisNeedsToKnow 24.10.2013 14:31

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zentachi (Post 2004321)
But what if the pack comes from your mother or girlfriend?It might be something you forgot back home!

Presents have a free value of CHF 100. How the 100 are calculated/estimated, especially on used stuff, no clue! "Forgetting" stuff doesn´t count - bad luck for you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zentachi (Post 2004321)
Anyways so far two packages were open (one from my gf) and one from an order from China.
The first one had items of some value but didn't ask for anything, the Chinese one was just velcro tape (around 1$)

Waiting one more package from my mother, a couple more from China (value around 2$) and one from UK (value around 30$) lets see if they will open any of them!

When you received packages which were opened, did they carry an official sticker saying something along the lines of "this was officially opened for inspection?"

Rgds, Christian

Zentachi 24.10.2013 14:40

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisNeedsToKnow (Post 2004333)

When you received packages which were opened, did they carry an official sticker saying something along the lines of "this was officially opened for inspection?"

Rgds, Christian

Christian I don't remember and for sure if it was in German I wouldn't have noticed!
There can't be someone else opening them, as they have been delivered in different addresses.
I will let you know with the expecting ones. They should be arriving next week.

greengrass10 20.07.2014 11:11

possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
Hello all,

Does anyone know if it's possible to get back our VAT on online purchases from any swiss websites, amazon.de or amazon.fr if we were to bring the items and invoices/proof of purchases to border customs?
Or is there any sources or website where I could find this info?

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.
Greengrass

Sbrinz 20.07.2014 11:18

Re: possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
So amazon.de and amazon.fr ship with Swiss tax paid. Are you leaving Switzerland and want to claim this tax back? It is possible at the exit border crossing, but the admin fee is about Fr 50,--

It was mentioned on EF before, so you need (AS ALWAYS) to search the forum.

3Wishes 20.07.2014 11:38

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Thanks, Sbrinz. Greengrass's thread merged. :)

greengrass10 20.07.2014 11:59

Re: possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sbrinz (Post 2201000)
So amazon.de and amazon.fr ship with Swiss tax paid. Are you leaving Switzerland and want to claim this tax back? It is possible at the exit border crossing, but the admin fee is about Fr 50,--

It was mentioned on EF before, so you need (AS ALWAYS) to search the forum.

Thanks for your response. I did do a "VAT" search before I posted this question and saw the thread you refer to. That thread discusses primarily about whether or not VAT is charged or should be charged, how it is calculated, why there is no amazon.ch, and whether amazon.de or amazon.fr ship to switzerland. If you read carefully, my question was on a different issue which was not clearly answered in those threads - it's a question "can we claim back VAT on online purchases made in Switzerland?". I'd like to just know "yes" or "no". It's a bit confusing as you seem say it's "yes" if we pay a 50 chf administrative fee, whereas in the thread above someone vaguely says "no" and that it's not possible to get back VAT on online purchases.

It would be good to have some clarity on this.If this was a normal purchase in a retail store in switzerland, the shop would have to provide us with a stamped VAT form on the purchase to bring to the VAT office at the airport to get back the VAT. However, this is an online purchase. What is the procedure for this? Are there any papers that need to be provided, or is the purchase invoice enough? Or where can we find out the official procedure at the Swiss border crossings for this? Thanks.

fatmanfilms 20.07.2014 12:05

Re: possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by greengrass10 (Post 2201037)
Thanks for your response. I did do a "VAT" search before I posted this question and saw the thread you refer to. That thread discusses primarily about whether or not VAT is charged or should be charged, how it is calculated, why there is no amazon.ch, and whether amazon.de or amazon.fr ship to switzerland. If you read carefully, my question was on a different issue which was not clearly answered in those threads - it's a question "can we claim back VAT on online purchases made in Switzerland?". I'd like to just know "yes" or "no". It's a bit confusing as you seem say it's "yes" if we pay a 50 chf administrative fee, whereas in the thread above someone vaguely says "no" and that it's not possible to get back VAT on online purchases.

It would be good to have some clarity on this.If this was a normal purchase in a retail store in switzerland, the shop would have to provide us with a stamped VAT form on the purchase to bring to the VAT office at the airport to get back the VAT. However, this is an online purchase. What is the procedure for this? Are there any papers that need to be provided, or is the purchase invoice enough? Or where can we find out the official procedure at the Swiss border crossings for this? Thanks.

If you prove you have exported the item, the retailer might refund. It's down to if they can be bothered, as internet sales are designed to be streamlined to save admin costs, you probably have your answer. For a high value item it might work.

greengrass10 20.07.2014 12:13

Re: possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 2201045)
If you prove you have exported the item, the retailer might refund. It's down to if they can be bothered, as internet sales are designed to be streamlined to save admin costs, you probably have your answer. For a high value item it might work.

I'm sorry I don't understand what you mean by "If you prove you have exported the item". It was an expensive item. But I simply bought it as a regular consumer through an online website. The VAT paid was high, so it would be good to be able to get back the monies the next time I leave Switzerland. Would appreciate if you could clarify.

fatmanfilms 20.07.2014 12:23

Re: possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by greengrass10 (Post 2201060)
I'm sorry I don't understand what you mean by "If you prove you have exported the item". It was an expensive item. But I simply bought it as a regular consumer through an online website. The VAT paid was high, so it would be good to be able to get back the monies the next time I leave Switzerland. Would appreciate if you could clarify.

You paid 8%. VAT in CH, if you take it to Europe you can legally reclaim the 8% Swiss Tax but will be liable to the considerably higher VAT of the country your entering.

So can you avoid paying tax anywhere? Probably not legally in Europe other than Monaco, not sure about VAT through.

greengrass10 20.07.2014 12:38

Re: possible to claim VAT on online purchases?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 2201063)
You paid 8%. VAT in CH, if you take it to Europe you can legally reclaim the 8% Swiss Tax .

Thanks Fatmanfilms. Fore sure that applies if you make an in-store purchase in Switzerland. But does that also apply if you make an online purchase in Switzerland? Does anyone know where the official Swiss government webpage on this might be?


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