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  #21  
Old 29.09.2016, 20:03
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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From today's SwissInfo, "All Swiss Amazon purchases to be subjected to VAT", article here:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/foreign-...o-vat/42482680


"The Swiss parliament has officially approved reforms to the country’s value-added tax (VAT) regime that would oblige overseas firms to impose VAT on all purchases and services. The goal is to protect Swiss firms from lower-priced competitors abroad.

Currently, online purchases from abroad that attract less than CHF5 ($5.15) in VAT are exempt. This translates into an upper limit of CHF200 worth of books or CHF62.50 of goods that don’t benefit from a favourable tax status. "

---

This could be the straw that breaks the camel's back and sends me scuttling back homewards. My weekly book fix is what keeps me sane.

(No, I am not undercutting the poor Swiss bookseller. The books I buy are generally not available in Switzerland.)

I wouldn't grumble about paying just VAT, but it's the administrative charges that Swiss Post tacks on when VAT is due that hurts.
If something so insignificant as paying vat on books sends you back home, then clearly life in Switzerland is not good either way!
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  #22  
Old 29.09.2016, 20:12
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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If something so insignificant as paying vat on books sends you back home, then clearly life in Switzerland is not good either way!
You clearly don't read enough
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  #23  
Old 29.09.2016, 20:22
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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You clearly don't read enough
I read all the time. Avidly.

It's still so financially insignificant as to not worth be bothering about.
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  #24  
Old 29.09.2016, 23:35
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

I did wonder how long this would all last and I guess that not only books will be affected.
My last order for electronic components with a Chinese supplier was about 30 CHF ( a huge amount of stuff) which came between four an six weeks later in several packets with free delivery. Amazing since the postage alone at Swiss prices would be more than the cost of the goods.
The proposed VAT would be insignificant , but the handling charge for the collection of an insignificant amount of VAT may kill that.
Swiss post for example would add 16 CHF customs fee plus 3% for effort plus, maybe, 13 CHF for opening the packet and checking the valuation , and then all that would be liable for VAT.
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  #25  
Old 30.09.2016, 11:34
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All Swiss Amazon purchases to be subjected to VAT

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/foreign-...o-vat/42482680

Any idea how it will affect day-to-day online shopping? What about small amounts? How are customers supposed to pay, say 0.80 CHF VAT for a 10 francs item?

And what about random reatilers around the world? Will there be a list of "Must-Pay-VAT" global companies?
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  #26  
Old 30.09.2016, 11:51
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Re: All Swiss Amazon purchases to be subjected to VAT

There is already a thread on the topic in this section https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...exemption.html
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Old 30.09.2016, 12:05
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Re: All Swiss Amazon purchases to be subjected to VAT

Amazon.de does the taxation with no extra processing fee.

Now, you pay tax only above ~62.5CHF order value. Later, tax will be billed also for smaller orders.

No big deal really, as in worst case tax on 62.5 CHF is 5 CHF and shipping is free.
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  #28  
Old 30.09.2016, 12:12
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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The news says: "all firms with turnover of over CHF100,000 will be obliged to impose Swiss VAT for Swiss customers". That's a key part I think. If that's so, then it doesn't look so bad to me now. Only big guys like Amazon will be affected and the admin burden will be put on them, not on you.

Amazon already today deals very well with Swiss customs on >62.50 CHF purchases - asks to prepay the Swiss VAT in these cases and relieves you from the outrageous admin fees of Swiss post. So only thing changing for Amazon would be that they'll do it for all purchases.
What does it mean for retailers other than Amazon? What happens if I receive a 10.- CHF item (price clearly indicated on the package) that the retailer has just posted, without contacting Swiss tax authorities? Will I pay 0.8 CHF at the time of receiving the item? More?
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  #29  
Old 30.09.2016, 12:20
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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The news says: "all firms with turnover of over CHF100,000 will be obliged to impose Swiss VAT for Swiss customers". That's a key part I think. If that's so, then it doesn't look so bad to me now. Only big guys like Amazon will be affected...
You really think that a company with over 100K turnover is a giant like Amazon?

From this:
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About 30,000 companies, notably Swiss-based firms mainly doing business abroad, will subject to VAT according to the government. The VAT is expected to lead to an additional CH70 million in annual revenue.
it looks like Swiss companies will also have to apply VAT to their customers abroad.

I wonder if this is a VAT alignment with the EU.
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  #30  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:01
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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What does it mean for retailers other than Amazon? What happens if I receive a 10.- CHF item (price clearly indicated on the package) that the retailer has just posted, without contacting Swiss tax authorities? Will I pay 0.8 CHF at the time of receiving the item? More?
You risk paying a multiple of the price you expected:
Unless already paid for by other means the driver will usually collect the additional costs, which comes with 20-30CHF cost of its own. So in your example you probably end up paying 30-40CHF for your order.

That's why Amazon's service of including the VAT in the bill and make sure no collecting fees are payable is very useful. Lack of such a service with other sellers will probably mean the transacion won't happen at all.
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  #31  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:10
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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From today's SwissInfo, "All Swiss Amazon purchases to be subjected to VAT", article here:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/foreign-...o-vat/42482680


"The Swiss parliament has officially approved reforms to the country’s value-added tax (VAT) regime that would oblige overseas firms to impose VAT on all purchases and services. The goal is to protect Swiss firms from lower-priced competitors abroad.

Currently, online purchases from abroad that attract less than CHF5 ($5.15) in VAT are exempt. This translates into an upper limit of CHF200 worth of books or CHF62.50 of goods that don’t benefit from a favourable tax status. "

---

This could be the straw that breaks the camel's back and sends me scuttling back homewards. My weekly book fix is what keeps me sane.

(No, I am not undercutting the poor Swiss bookseller. The books I buy are generally not available in Switzerland.)

I wouldn't grumble about paying just VAT, but it's the administrative charges that Swiss Post tacks on when VAT is due that hurts.
So how is this going to work?

If the seller just tacks the VAT onto the price, I'm Ok with that.

But if it means that I'm going to have to take time off work every time I need to pick something up in the post office because the postman can't leave it in my letterbox if I'm not there to pay the charge, this is ridiculous.
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  #32  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:13
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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No, I'm the Luddite.

Resisted the new-fangled technology for as long as I could but eventually gave in and tried the Kindle. Spent a fortune on books, lost them all when I let the battery run out and it would no longer re-boot.

Got angry and threw the damned thing against the wall.


And went back to my beloved books.


Reading off a screen is for work. Books are for leisure. And as far as I'm concerned, never the twain shall meet.
I'm still resisting these new fangled book things. I don't think people will ever accept them. There's nothing like cuddling up on the sofa with a stack of cuneiform tablets.
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  #33  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:17
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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I'm still resisting these new fangled book things. I don't think people will ever accept them. There's nothing like cuddling up on the sofa with a stack of cuneiform tablets.
You've given up your Scribe, Bard and Jester?
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  #34  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:30
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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No, I'm the Luddite.

Resisted the new-fangled technology for as long as I could but eventually gave in and tried the Kindle. Spent a fortune on books, lost them all when I let the battery run out and it would no longer re-boot.

Got angry and threw the damned thing against the wall.

And went back to my beloved books.

Reading off a screen is for work. Books are for leisure. And as far as I'm concerned, never the twain shall meet.
The books are not lost! They are saved on your account and you can download them from any Kindle you log into, even on smartphones and tablets using the Amazon Kindle app!
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Old 30.09.2016, 14:34
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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You risk paying a multiple of the price you expected:
Unless already paid for by other means the driver will usually collect the additional costs, which comes with 20-30CHF cost of its own. So in your example you probably end up paying 30-40CHF for your order.

That's why Amazon's service of including the VAT in the bill and make sure no collecting fees are payable is very useful. Lack of such a service with other sellers will probably mean the transacion won't happen at all.
Isn't there any way to pay the VAT a priori, i.e. before receiving the package, or before it enters Switzerland?

Or some sort of self-declaration at the end of year?

Or a bill you receive annually containing all your payable VAT?

Or to deposit some money at the beginning of the year for all your future shopping, and claiming the remaining amount at the end of the year?
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  #36  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:42
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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I'm still resisting these new fangled book things. I don't think people will ever accept them. There's nothing like cuddling up on the sofa with a stack of cuneiform tablets.
But not as much fun as cuddling up with your story-teller and poet.
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  #37  
Old 30.09.2016, 14:50
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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Isn't there any way to pay the VAT a priori, i.e. before receiving the package, or before it enters Switzerland?

Or some sort of self-declaration at the end of year?

Or a bill you receive annually containing all your payable VAT?

Or to deposit some money at the beginning of the year for all your future shopping, and claiming the remaining amount at the end of the year?
No.

Tom
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  #38  
Old 30.09.2016, 16:15
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

I can't read ebooks; actually I can't really concentrate on what I'm reading if it's an ebook. I'm someone who could buy two or three copies of the same book and who has a large collection of notebooks (I write down quotes, opinions, and do some simple indexing).
For some articles and OCR'ed scripts, I use goodreader app (excellent app btw).
If something interesting comes up, I use some online library sites (they have millions of ocr'ed books) to check whether it's worth buying.
The only thing I miss about books is the amazon marketplace: amazing collection of good books with affordable prices.
Ah...just a simple question: what if the seller places a note like "gift", do we still pay the tax?
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  #39  
Old 30.09.2016, 16:17
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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I can't read ebooks; actually I can't really concentrate on what I'm reading if it's an ebook. I'm someone who could buy two or three copies of the same book and who has a large collection of notebooks (I write down quotes, opinions, and do some simple indexing).
For some articles and OCR'ed scripts, I use goodreader app (excellent app btw).
If something interesting comes up, I use some online library sites (they have millions of ocr'ed books) to check whether it's worth buying.
The only thing I miss about books is the amazon marketplace: amazing collection of good books with affordable prices.
Ah...just a simple question: what if the seller places a note like "gift", do we still pay the tax?
Gift should be from an individual person to another individual person, no legal entities involved.
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  #40  
Old 30.09.2016, 16:17
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Re: End of the VAT-free exemption

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The books are not lost! They are saved on your account and you can download them from any Kindle you log into, even on smartphones and tablets using the Amazon Kindle app!
It's the atmosphere


Few things cozier than a book, a nice drink/food to crunch on and a comfy place to lounge.
Add to that a nice-smelling book (I sound insane, I know ), and life's much better.
Rant ahead:
  • An e-reader strains my eyes (no matter the size/brightness etc. settings),
  • an e-reader dies before I'm done reading,
  • an e-reader isn't as forgiving when accidentally dropped on the floor,
  • an e-reader cannot be bookmarked with a Cadbury bar,
  • an e-reader doesn't make me feel like the owner of a tangible, large source of interesting subjects aka bookshelf
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