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Old 19.12.2008, 23:37
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Claiming back UK VAT tax

Hi all,
I am over in England at the moment and I am interested in buying a Mac Book from PC world. The salesman seems to think I can have the VAT amount given back to me, significantly reducing the price. He says he can give me a form but I have no idea what to do with it. Has anyone ever claimed back UK VAT and if so where?

Cheers
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Old 20.12.2008, 15:43
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

Hi,

I reclaim the tax everytime I am in the UK. Get the form completed in the shop and then when you fly back....I assume you are flying though I assume it is the same procedure at ferry terminals/eurostar...look for the sign to where you can reclaim VAT. They might want to look at the goods and it is possible that they may want to look at your work permit but they will then stamp the form. Depending on which form you where given...different shops use different schemes you may be able to get the money back at the airport directly or you can send off the completed and stamped form with your credit card information and they will credit your credit card.

No comment on buying an Apple Mac

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Old 21.12.2008, 11:58
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

Thanks. I am coming back via Eurostar. Will keep a look out.
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Old 21.12.2008, 12:06
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

When crossing the border by car at say Ferney Voltaire this is a two stage process. You need to go to French customs and have the form stamped and then go to Swiss customs and pay the 7.6% swiss tva on the goods. One form is then kept for info and the second posted back to the retailer for them to effect a credit.
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Old 21.12.2008, 13:14
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

I have had a bad experience with this system coming out of London City. There was not a duty customs officer to receive the forms and the only option was to drop them in a receiving box which we were assured by other staff would be cleared during business hours. Over 4 mth later and still no refunds.

re: buying a macbook. excellent choice. I got mine on friday. am loving it. if you don't mind me asking, what price has the UK guy offered you? The reason i ask is that the current differntial in VAT between UK and Switzerland is about 7.5% and electronic goods can sometimes be a lot cheaper here (i.m.e), so you may not really save much/anything and you have the added worry of purchasing a major electrical item from a country in which you don't live (my 2 cents worth). It's worth mentioning that if you are an employee or student of a swiss uni/facchoschule you are entitled to a nice discount. Mac's can also be purchased a little cheaper than from the Apple store or Dataquest through digitec.ch or microspot.ch

good luck with it
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Old 21.12.2008, 20:44
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

I doubt that you would find a new one with a British 'QWERTY' keyboard layout in a store in Switzerland.
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Old 22.12.2008, 06:58
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

You claim VAT back as you leave the EU customs zone.

So it's just before you cross from France into Switzerland or at the UK airport.

Not at Eurostar/ferry terminals

UK taxman link

Quote:
If you're travelling outside the EU, you must show your goods and your refund form to UK customs staff at the airport you're leaving from. Make sure you arrive at the airport early so that you have plenty of time to deal with the customs staff before your departure.

If you're travelling to another country within the EU before you finally leave the EU, then you must show your goods and refund form to customs officials in that country when you leave it.
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Old 23.12.2008, 20:15
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

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I have had a bad experience with this system coming out of London City. There was not a duty customs officer to receive the forms and the only option was to drop them in a receiving box which we were assured by other staff would be cleared during business hours. Over 4 mth later and still no refunds.

re: buying a macbook. excellent choice. I got mine on friday. am loving it. if you don't mind me asking, what price has the UK guy offered you? The reason i ask is that the current differntial in VAT between UK and Switzerland is about 7.5% and electronic goods can sometimes be a lot cheaper here (i.m.e), so you may not really save much/anything and you have the added worry of purchasing a major electrical item from a country in which you don't live (my 2 cents worth). It's worth mentioning that if you are an employee or student of a swiss uni/facchoschule you are entitled to a nice discount. Mac's can also be purchased a little cheaper than from the Apple store or Dataquest through digitec.ch or microspot.ch

good luck with it
MacBook 467. It was 1146 GBP with IWorks and a bag.
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Old 26.01.2009, 23:52
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

I just hit an interesting problem regarding VAT refunds I wonder if anyone has any ideas.
I returned from Stockholm, but travelled via Munich where I stopped over and travelled back to Zurich by train 2 days later.
Stockholm Golbal Refund refused to process the refund as I wasn't leaving the EU. The Tax Free shop in Munich airport pointed me to the customs, and the customs said the stamp needed to be collected at the boarder which in this case would have been Bregrenz in Austria where the train stops for less than 2 minutes.
So I arrived back in Zurich with a fair few goods and no tax refund.
I am travelling to London next week and am wondering if I take the goods with me if I can get a stamp when leaving there? If not is there anyway to get a refund once you have arrived back in Zurich?
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Old 27.01.2009, 08:27
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

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I am travelling to London next week and am wondering if I take the goods with me if I can get a stamp when leaving there? If not is there anyway to get a refund once you have arrived back in Zurich?

I think it was the Stockholm Global Refund that messed up in this scenario given you had an onwards ticket etc. You can give your idea a try, I dont see technically why taking it out and into Europe with VAT should prevent it. Note that the Heathrow people want to see the goods etc.

I find Global Refund's charges a bit high... on 500gbp, they took 23 of the 63gbp due back. Australia has a fantastic GST refund system, the customs people process it and give you 100% of the amount.. admittedly its a long way to go for your duty free however.

Daniel
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Old 27.01.2009, 08:28
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

Reclaiming VAT has been discussed before:

No customs officer in sight ... now what?

get back VAT @ airport?

Can I get VAT refund when moving from UK to Switzerland?

Tax Free Shopping (EU returning to Switzerland)

The danger is you pay VAT twice (in the UK and on entry to CH) and never get the UK VAT back. I have given up falling for the 'you-can-claim-back-the-VAT' sales ploy, as more often than not it doesn't work and at best you only get 10% or less back as the companies involved take their commission...
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Old 27.01.2009, 11:56
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Re: Claiming back UK VAT tax

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The danger is you pay VAT twice (in the UK and on entry to CH) and never get the UK VAT back. I have given up falling for the 'you-can-claim-back-the-VAT' sales ploy, as more often than not it doesn't work and at best you only get 10% or less back as the companies involved take their commission...
I have to say we have never had a problem either claiming the VAT back or getting clobbered for Swiss VAT coming in when flying. For the latter dont arrive looking like Imelda Marcos after a shopping spree..

Re the 10% back, you would "only" get 13% back from a full refund (15/115), and for the minimal effort involved I would do it every time. If you buy your stuff from a department store that will price match eg John Lewis you can process everything on one refund form and minimise the admin fee.

Daniel
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