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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)

marton 20.07.2014 12:51

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

Originally Posted by greengrass10 (Post 2201082)
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?

Does not matter what the official Swiss government webpage says,
The only person who can give you your VAT back is your on-line supplier. You will have to ask your supplier if they will give you your VAT back and what is their process?

greengrass10 20.07.2014 15:45

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

Originally Posted by marton (Post 2201094)
Does not matter what the official Swiss government webpage says,
The only person who can give you your VAT back is your on-line supplier. You will have to ask your supplier if they will give you your VAT back and what is their process?

So unlike an in-store purchase where retailers in Switzerland are obligated to refund the VAT paid, it seems that online shops in Switzerland are not required to refund the VAT. If the perogative is on the online shop to provide this VAT refund service in Switzerland, my guess is in nearly all cases they won't do it, even if I made the effort to call and try to convince them.
If anyone knows any exception to this and was able to get their VAT refunded back on an online purchase in Switzerland or from Amazon.de or Amazon.fr (since there is no Amazon.ch), please do share this experience. Thanks.

xkcd 20.07.2014 15:53

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
One requirement for getting a VAT refund is that you are not a resident in the country of purchase. Assuming that you are registered in Switzerland you will not get the export confirmed by the Swiss customs.

marton 20.07.2014 16:15

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

Originally Posted by greengrass10 (Post 2201175)
So unlike an in-store purchase where retailers in Switzerland are obligated to refund the VAT paid, it seems that online shops in Switzerland are not required to refund the VAT. If the perogative is on the online shop to provide this VAT refund service in Switzerland, my guess is in nearly all cases they won't do it, even if I made the effort to call and try to convince them.
If anyone knows any exception to this and was able to get their VAT refunded back on an online purchase in Switzerland or from Amazon.de or Amazon.fr (since there is no Amazon.ch), please do share this experience. Thanks.

About "So unlike an in-store purchase where retailers in Switzerland are obligated to refund the VAT paid" Are you sure they are obligated? Do you have a source.
Certainly in other countries there is no such obligation.

marton 20.07.2014 16:17

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

Originally Posted by greengrass10 (Post 2201175)
So unlike an in-store purchase where retailers in Switzerland are obligated to refund the VAT paid, it seems that online shops in Switzerland are not required to refund the VAT. If the perogative is on the online shop to provide this VAT refund service in Switzerland, my guess is in nearly all cases they won't do it, even if I made the effort to call and try to convince them.
If anyone knows any exception to this and was able to get their VAT refunded back on an online purchase in Switzerland or from Amazon.de or Amazon.fr (since there is no Amazon.ch), please do share this experience. Thanks.

About "refunded back on an online purchase from Amazon.de" I suggest you search this forum for this info :)

Sbrinz 20.07.2014 16:40

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

Postal and courier services - online shopping
Personal goods which are delivered by post,
a courier or by other means to Switzerland will be treated as merchandise (Information companies).

There are no duty-free allowances and the tax-free limit is not applicable.
Information is available under: Online shopping, mail and courier consignments.

For online Internet shopping, and then export, the answer is maybe, many conditions apply, ALL must be met,

http://www.estv.admin.ch/mwst/themen/00160/00635/index.html?lang=en

Conditions for tax exemption

Sales in tourist traffic are exempt from tax only if all of the following conditions are met:
  • The retail price of the goods must be at least CHF 300 (incl. VAT). However, the retail price excluding VAT has to be indicated in the export document.
  • The buyer (= customer) may not be domiciled in Switzerland (Art. 3 letter a of the VAT Act). In contrast, it is irrelevant whether the buyer is a Swiss or foreign national.
  • The goods must be intended for the personal use of the buyer or as gifts.
  • The goods must be exported to a foreign customs territory by the buyer within 30 days of receipt.
  • Proof of exportation can be provided either with a confirmed export document (Arts. 3-5) or with an unconfirmed export document together with an import assessment issued by a foreign customs authority (Art. 6).
  • The export document must be drawn up in the name of the buyer and may contain solely goods supplied to this person. Joint declarations with goods for various buyers are not permitted.
If one or more of the above conditions are not met, the supplier must tax the goods supplied.

greengrass10 20.07.2014 17:04

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

Originally Posted by Sbrinz (Post 2201203)
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

Postal and courier services - online shopping
Personal goods which are delivered by post, a courier or by other means to Switzerland will be treated as merchandise (Information companies). There are no duty-free allowances and the tax-free limit is not applicable.
Information is available under: Online shopping, mail and courier consignments.

For online Internet shopping, and then export, the answer is maybe, several conditions apply

http://www.estv.admin.ch/mwst/themen...x.html?lang=en

Many thanks Sbrinz, this is really helpful! There seems to be a little bit of a grey area. Looks like a consumer cannot legally claim a refund on TVA on online purchases in Switzerland. But if the Swiss company is willing to send it to the customer formally registered as a commercial export, it might be possible the company can get the TVA waived (and maybe pass the savings on to the customer). Though that would probably be a highly unlikely scenario and, in the absolute best case scenario, would require a lot of pre-arranging and discussion (but who has the time?).

It wasn't quite the news I wanted to hear. But it's good to know where things stand (and I won't be wasting time at the airport VAT office or border crossings trying to claim a refund which isn't possible).

MacGregor's Daughter 20.07.2014 17:07

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
I always ask in advance if I have to pay the country's VAT and usually they tell me I get things without tax and then I pay Swiss tax when I receive the goods. That spares me the hassle of claiming refund.

dbucar 03.04.2017 11:16

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
I know this thing works with amazon.de, but does anyone have experience with reclaiming VAT from .co.uk?
For DE site you just send the invoices to the address they provide.
I am trying to find info on the UK help website, but nothing useful found yet.

Cheers,
D

nejc 03.04.2017 11:50

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Amazon deducts local VAT and add approximately cost of Swiss import duties in the last stage, just before you finally confirm the buy. They have by far the easiest and cheapest buying process.
There is no need to send invoices back, neither on .de nor on co.uk.

adrianlondon 03.04.2017 11:52

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

Originally Posted by nejc (Post 2766879)
There is no need to send invoices back, neither on .de nor on co.uk.

If you order from amazon.de and have the stuff delivered to a drop-box or collection depot in German and then personally import it into Switzerland (a) the invoice needs to be custom-stamped and sent back to Amazon and (b) this allows a tax-free import limit of Fr.300 instead of around Fr.60.

nejc 03.04.2017 11:54

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Ah, sorry, missed that part about sending it to German address :)
Ignore my post than pls

adrianlondon 03.04.2017 12:14

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

Originally Posted by nejc (Post 2766885)
Ah, sorry, missed that part about sending it to German address :)
Ignore my post than pls

Once seen, can't be unseen :). But your post does raise a valid point, that ordering from Amazon (not via their third party sellers) and having things shipped to Switzerland does work smoothly.

They take off the German VAT, add on an estimated amount for Swiss tax and then ship. Can't remember the actual numbers but I think anything over around 45 has free postage too, plus even if I order over the Fr.60 Swiss import tax limit, Amazon often splits my order into multiple shipments, and as each one is under Fr.60 they refund the estimated Swiss tax back to my credit card automatically. It's fantastic. I assume, but have never tried, that Amazon UK works in a similar way.

dbucar 03.04.2017 12:21

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
All legit, but I am talking about shipping it to a German address (as a lot of things are not deliverable to CH), and then having to stamp and reclaim.
It appears that Amazon is part of <input-VAT-handling-institution-scheme-here> in Germany, but not so in UK.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/cus...deId=201244390

BS stands for 30.06.2017 16:40

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Does anyone have any experience of claiming tax back from Evans-cycles? I am looking to order a bike online but they will only deliver to Germany. That means I would have to pay the UK tax and then Swiss tax to import here. Just wondered if anyone had tried to claim tax back in such a case.

skatercorpse 03.07.2019 12:17

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

Originally Posted by adrianlondon (Post 2766881)
If you order from amazon.de and have the stuff delivered to a drop-box or collection depot in German and then personally import it into Switzerland (a) the invoice needs to be custom-stamped and sent back to Amazon and (b) this allows a tax-free import limit of Fr.300 instead of around Fr.60.

Very interesting!

My situation:
I ordered from an Italian website (auto-doc.it).
They do have a website for different countries, and they apply different shipping and VAT depending on which one you order.
They are actually based in Germany. So they send the order from Germany to Italy in this case.
Then I will personally go and get the package in Italy to finally import it into Switzerland.

I would like to try to have the Italian VAT refunded if possible.
When you say "the invoice needs to be custom-stamped and sent back to Amazon", do you mean stamped by the Italian custom or by the Swiss custom?

Thank you very much for your help! :D
Hope to have an answer even if it's an old (but very usesful!!) thread.

marton 03.07.2019 13:00

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

Originally Posted by skatercorpse (Post 3080506)
Very interesting!

My situation:
I ordered from an Italian website (auto-doc.it).
They do have a website for different countries, and they apply different shipping and VAT depending on which one you order.
They are actually based in Germany. So they send the order from Germany to Italy in this case.
Then I will personally go and get the package in Italy to finally import it into Switzerland.

I would like to try to have the Italian VAT refunded if possible.
When you say "the invoice needs to be custom-stamped and sent back to Amazon", do you mean stamped by the Italian custom or by the Swiss custom?

Thank you very much for your help! :D
Hope to have an answer even if it's an old (but very usesful!!) thread.

Stamped by Italian Customs

Italy has a Minimum purchase amount of 154.95 EUR for vat refund.

You need to ask your supplier if they will refund and what they require; each supplier is different!

st2lemans 03.07.2019 14:12

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

Originally Posted by marton (Post 3080517)
Stamped by Italian Customs

Italy has a Minimum purchase amount of 154.95 EUR for vat refund.

You need to ask your supplier if they will refund and what they require; each supplier is different!

Also, Italy requires you to go through commercial customs for merchandise worth more than EUR 600.

Tom

skatercorpse 03.07.2019 15:55

Re: How to claim back VAT from online purchases.
 
Thank you for the replies guys! :D
Very helpful indeed!

aSwissInTheUS 03.07.2019 15:55

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

Originally Posted by skatercorpse (Post 3080506)
My situation:
I ordered from an Italian website (auto-doc.it).
They do have a website for different countries, and they apply different shipping and VAT depending on which one you order.
They are actually based in Germany. So they send the order from Germany to Italy in this case.
Then I will personally go and get the package in Italy to finally import it into Switzerland.

Be aware of the following: According my understanding of the EU VAT regulations, the German VAT law, the actual procedure by German custom and German sellers, parts which are used to equip or supply a means of transport are not VAT refundable when exported by a private individuals themselves unless they have been mounted by the mechanic to the vehicle (plus some conditions are met).
https://www.mypaketshop.com/ratgeber...d-reparaturen/

At this very point st2lemans will rise his hand and object and duly note that in Italy the situation is seemingly somehow exactly the other way round: If mounted no VAT refund, but if if transported as single pieces VAT refund is possible.

As the company is in Germany expected that they might be reluctant to reimburse VAT. Nevertheless, VAT refund after self export is purely optional and there is no right to it.


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