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Old 08.11.2020, 22:57
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Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

Dear community,
I am considering to purchase some furniture from a Dutch shop and, as they ship to EU but not to CH, I am considering to have the goods delivered at a German delivery address and import them myself into Switzerland.
I am wondering whether, in this case, I could hope to claim the Dutch VAT back and what the process could be - both for the Dutch shop (any specific needs for the invoice?) and for myself (would the usual German border stamp be recognized by the Netherlands?). It would be interesting also to know whether there could be any chance to have the shop issue directly a VAT-free invoice in this case - I hardly doubt, but you never know...
I have asked the shop directly though they have never done any of this and would definitely benefit from any experience in this matter.
Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to offer!
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Old 09.11.2020, 06:23
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

I doubt you will get the VAT back with a shipment to germany, because germany is in the EU aswell the netherlands, so it is no "export", it is the same
economic area (EU).You organize a shipment on your own from the netherlands to switzerland to export the furniture without the VAT of the netherlands and
have to clear customs here at the border and pay the swiss VAT /customs fees .
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Old 09.11.2020, 13:40
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

You won't be able to reclaim the VAT until it leaves Germany. As soon as you have proof it has left the EU you can make a claim. Swiss customs should also only tax you on the nett amount and not on the Dutch VAT as well.
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Old 09.11.2020, 16:00
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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You won't be able to reclaim the VAT until it leaves Germany. As soon as you have proof it has left the EU you can make a claim. Swiss customs should also only tax you on the nett amount and not on the Dutch VAT as well.

Not the case, the sale to Germany is a retail sale within the EU.
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Old 09.11.2020, 16:38
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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I doubt you will get the VAT back with a shipment to germany, because germany is in the EU aswell the netherlands, so it is no "export", it is the same
economic area (EU).You organize a shipment on your own from the netherlands to switzerland to export the furniture without the VAT of the netherlands and
have to clear customs here at the border and pay the swiss VAT /customs fees .
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Not the case, the sale to Germany is a retail sale within the EU.
I don't think this is true - the situation OP described is perfectly suitable for a VAT refund. What does exactly "retail sale within the EU" mean? In the same logic, if you just buy something in Germany in person - you would not be able to get a refund, cos it is a "retail sale within the EU".

The shipment to Germany is just a delivery. As long as the invoice carries the Swiss billing address, OP is free to pick up the package in Germany and export it at the German-Swiss border. It is equivalent to doing to Netherlands, buy the thing in person, then going to Germany, and then going to Switzerland. I got VAT reimbursed from Amazon Italy for packages I would ship to Italy and then pick and export to Switzerland myself (not a cross-country shipping, but I think it does not matter since it is within the EU).

Back to your question OP: I am not sure what the law in Netherland is, whether agreeing to VAT refund is mandatory for the merchant or not (either way, if the merchant does not collaborate - it is too much hassle). The most important requirement - the invoice should have your name and your Swiss address as billing address. Some countries have specific requirements in terms of min. invoice value and so on, so you should check those for Netherlands.

Re VAT-free invoice: it is possible, but it is up to the merchant. Basically, if you don't stamp the invoice - the merchant will have to pay the VAT, if you do - they don't pay it. Since merchants do not want to take risk, they usually go for the approach "I keep the VAT, you show me proof that I won't have to pay it - I give it back to you". But it is entirely possible for the merchant to trust you and just don't get VAT from the beginning (and loosing money if you don't send the invoice back), it happened to me. Sometimes there are in-the-middle solutions, such as merchant blocking the VAT on your credit card and releasing once you exported the goods.
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Old 09.11.2020, 20:06
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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Not the case, the sale to Germany is a retail sale within the EU.
The German term is "Ausfuhrlieferungen im nichtkommerziellen Reiseverkehr ". In theory this should also work when the goods are ordered from NL and shipped to DE. All what is needed is an proper bill showing an address outside the EU, and a stamp from the EU border post where the goods have been exported outside of the EU customs area.

Looks like it should be possible:
https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/w...n-eu_countries

Here explained from the German Finance Ministry in German:
https://www.bundesfinanzministerium....heinigung.html

If it is possible with goods purchased in the Netherlands depends on the tax law of the Netherlands. They will also outline what formalities have to be met. A local commerce chamber might help with that and has more information about the process.
See and search at :https://www.kvk.nl/
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Old 09.11.2020, 21:26
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

i doubt the supplier in the netherlands will ship the furniture VAT Free to germany.
Non Commercial Travel seems to be unlikely , if you transport furniture halfway through europe.
I think it would be possible ,when you transport clothing or other small non food items, but furniture ??

No way.
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Old 10.11.2020, 00:46
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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i doubt the supplier in the netherlands will ship the furniture VAT Free to germany.
Non Commercial Travel seems to be unlikely , if you transport furniture halfway through europe.
I think it would be possible ,when you transport clothing or other small non food items, but furniture ??
There is also the "Ausfuhrlieferung im kommerziellen Reiseverkehr" or the generic "Ausfuhrlieferung" (This would be a regular export) Difference? A bit more formalities at custom. VAT saving/reimbursement? The same.

See the links at the "Vorschriften zum Thema". They bring you do the relevant EU legislation (Available in all union languages).
https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Zo...echt_node.html
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Old 10.11.2020, 00:47
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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Not the case, the sale to Germany is a retail sale within the EU.

Exactly what I said. When it leaves Germany for Switzerland it can be reclaimed.
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Old 10.11.2020, 08:51
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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Exactly what I said. When it leaves Germany for Switzerland it can be reclaimed.
Only if the seller chooses to do so or has provided global blue paperwork.

Since the seller has to prove export from the EU, shipping to Germany does not cut the mustard. If he was shipping to a German VAT registered company Dutch VAT would not be charged, however the German co would charge German VAT on resale accounting for the import transaction on his VAT return.
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Old 10.11.2020, 16:29
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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Only if the seller chooses to do so or has provided global blue paperwork.

Since the seller has to prove export from the EU, shipping to Germany does not cut the mustard. If he was shipping to a German VAT registered company Dutch VAT would not be charged, however the German co would charge German VAT on resale accounting for the import transaction on his VAT return.

Of course. I was assuming all the necessary paperwork would be provided. I wish life was simpler sometimes!
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Old 15.11.2020, 17:06
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

Tried https://www.vatfree.com/ ?
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Old 15.11.2020, 17:52
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

A website that doest adhere to the regulations of what needs to be on a website? No mention of cost for the customer?
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Old 15.11.2020, 18:22
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

I can't offer any clarity on the VAT situation, but I can tell you to carefully check the delivery date (and everything else) of the furniture you are about to buy from the Netherlands. We have had woeful service this year from Dutch suppliers here in Noord Holland.

From a bed store - a delivery time of 10 weeks promised in the shop on purchase, with a confirmation email showing a delivery time of 15 weeks that was then pushed back to 17 in reality and one of the pieces incorrectly assembled. From a furniture store - a sofa that was in the store and sold ex-display could not be delivered for 6 weeks or more. We arranged our own collection that week and the store lost the feet of the sofa. From another furniture store - delivery on time but no handles provided for drawer or cupboard. That's not the end of it - curtains that are a month past their delivery date and no response by email or on twitter. I could go on and on. Unless you are buying from a small firm in the north called Stoer Metaal, who have been great with timings, customer service and quality of furniture, I strongly advise a visit to trustpilot.nl beforehand.
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Old 23.11.2020, 00:26
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

You can get the VAT refunded IF (and only if) the shop "cooperates".

If you speak German, I wrote a complete article on the matter here:
https://www.staatenlos.ch/mehrwertsteuer-erstattung/

In a nutshell you need to

1) get a bill with your Swiss address on it
2) get the items delivered to Germany (this will include VAT)
3) when crossing the border from D to CH with the stuff, get the bill stamped
4) send the stamped bill to the Dutch shop asking for a refund

If the Dutch shop cooperates they can get the VAT back from the state and refund it to you - but be sure to ask them before you buy, as they're not legally required to do it.

In the Netherlands there's also www.vatfree.com - but they charge a commission and they're also dependent on the cooperation of the shop.
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Old 23.11.2020, 16:10
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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You can get the VAT refunded IF (and only if) the shop "cooperates".

If you speak German, I wrote a complete article on the matter here:
https://www.staatenlos.ch/mehrwertsteuer-erstattung/

In a nutshell you need to

1) get a bill with your Swiss address on it
2) get the items delivered to Germany (this will include VAT)
3) when crossing the border from D to CH with the stuff, get the bill stamped
4) send the stamped bill to the Dutch shop asking for a refund

If the Dutch shop cooperates they can get the VAT back from the state and refund it to you - but be sure to ask them before you buy, as they're not legally required to do it.

In the Netherlands there's also www.vatfree.com - but they charge a commission and they're also dependent on the cooperation of the shop.
3) depending on the value of the goods, import tax might be a lot higher?
(Then again, depending on size of the goods, smuggling might be difficult anyway )
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Old 23.11.2020, 16:18
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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3) depending on the value of the goods, import tax might be a lot higher?
EU VAT for non essential stuff is at least 15%. Swiss VAT is 7.7%. This results in a 6.35 % discount or better. A bit less as I rounded 6.3478260869565217391304 on the other hand Dutch VAT ist a whooping 21%, which means we are talking about nearly 11% saving! https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/w...at/vat_tariffs
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Old 26.11.2020, 10:52
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Re: Claiming Dutch VAT when shipping to a German delivery address

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You can get the VAT refunded IF (and only if) the shop "cooperates".

If you speak German, I wrote a complete article on the matter here:
https://www.staatenlos.ch/mehrwertsteuer-erstattung/

In a nutshell you need to

1) get a bill with your Swiss address on it
2) get the items delivered to Germany (this will include VAT)
3) when crossing the border from D to CH with the stuff, get the bill stamped
4) send the stamped bill to the Dutch shop asking for a refund

If the Dutch shop cooperates they can get the VAT back from the state and refund it to you - but be sure to ask them before you buy, as they're not legally required to do it.

In the Netherlands there's also www.vatfree.com - but they charge a commission and they're also dependent on the cooperation of the shop.

Chris' procedure is quite well laid out.


To add another illustration, I once had Amazon.de ship a car-seat to Spain. They correctly shipped with Spanish VAT. We drove back from Spain to Germany and crossed at Basel. German customs certified "export from EU" without hassle and Amazon.de refunded the Spanish VAT.

Major possible variable is whether your seller is used to/willing to refund VAT on exports.
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