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Old 16.11.2014, 21:13
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VAT Refund Clarifications

Hello All,

Yesterday I bought a moderately expensive watch and the shopkeeper mentioned that I can process the VAT refund.

I have been in Switzerland on a L visa since last few months and I am scheduled to go back in Dec. During last 4-5 months, I have made few expensive purchases like phone, ipad, camera etc. I do have all these items with me along with the original receipts.

My questions are
1) Is there any time limit in which the VAT refund should be claimed.
2) Are there any specific items against which VAT refund can be claimed?

Many thanks in advance for your replies.

- MP
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Old 16.11.2014, 21:23
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

Yes & yes.

Search function will answer all your questions and more.
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Old 16.11.2014, 23:07
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

If you're resident in Switzerland you can't get a VAT refund AFAIK
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Old 17.11.2014, 09:43
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

I think you'll find it's witihng 3 months of purchase as VAT here is declared/paid every 3 months.

If you get caught trying to re-claim VAT when you have ANY type of resident permit in Switzerland, this will be considered and treated and punished as criminal fraud.
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Old 28.11.2014, 08:31
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

What about the Swiss residents who are leaving the country permanently? I think they can claim the VAT refund.
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Old 28.11.2014, 08:56
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

at the time that you buy, if you're officially resident, you are not entitled to any VAT refund.

simple really.
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Old 28.11.2014, 08:58
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

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What about the Swiss residents who are leaving the country permanently? I think they can claim the VAT refund.
Only if they buy something AFTER they have handed in their permit (or it has expired).

Tom
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Old 28.11.2014, 09:19
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

I think this is not entirely true as I have seen a few cases like below

Permit expiry in Dec, Purchase made in Oct, VAT refund in Dec was possible due to 3 month period for the VAT refund.
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Old 28.11.2014, 09:45
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

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I think this is not entirely true as I have seen a few cases like below

Permit expiry in Dec, Purchase made in Oct, VAT refund in Dec was possible due to 3 month period for the VAT refund.

Oh, it's entirely feasible your scheme, no problem at all, but in same respect, if you get caught, and they do check as VAT fraud is very common, the resulting procedures are also entirely predictable. This can include having problems next time you apply for a visa (enitire Schengen area) or your name going on some European customs list.

The chances of getting caught are not so high, but if you do get caught is it really worth while for the little amount of money considering the shit storm you'll face for quite a while ?
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Old 28.11.2014, 09:52
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

Just two points:
- You can claim VAT back if you are exporting the goods, which doesn't seem to be the case.
- You need to fill the papers in the shop when you buy the goods (same day means the same day you have in the receipt), which doesn't seem to be the case.

When you export goods above 300 CHF you need to pay the VAT in the home country. CH already has a low VAT rate. Even if you could do the claim probably it would be more expensive given the VAT rate of your home country.
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Old 28.11.2014, 11:33
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Re: VAT Refund Clarifications

Some wrong information above (surprise...).

The 300 CHF limit applies to carrying things INTO Switzerland; exporting goods to another country would be subject to the limits that country imposes, which is unlikely to be 300 CHF.

Goods bought for export (which is what has to happen to get your 8% or 2.5% tax back) have to be exported within 30 days of purchase.

At the time of export you mustn't be a resident of Switzerland.

At the time of purchase ... I don't know. Many people I know bought lots of gadgets within the 30 days of their leaving, and in some cases had yet to de-register. They all got their tax back.
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