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Old 09.11.2009, 21:01
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German VAT refund at the Zoll station

Hi all, I know that there are a lot of similar posts to this one but I have specific questions: I am dealing with a merchant in the North of Germany that has no experience with VAT refunds for non-EU residents. I intend to drive the item across the border near Schaffhausen. I have located the "Ausfuhr- und Abnehmerbescheinigung für Umsatzsteuerzwecke" form online and am prepared to fill out the form myself. My question is - are there border stations near Schaffhausen that refund the VAT immediately as one crosses the border? If I end up having to send the stamped form back to the merchant, how obligated is he to process my refund? He is a small, 1 man company without any experience in VAT refunds. I have no intention of returning to the shop and I will most likely never shop there again. Or is my best option with a Global Refund kind of operation? Any suggestions on which one to use? The VAT is approximately 250 Euro. Thanks for your help.
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Old 09.11.2009, 22:02
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Re: German VAT refund at the Zoll station

AFAIK no border post anywhere will refund the VAT, they merely confirm that you left the EU by stamping a form already completed by the vendor.

After all, the vendor charged you VAT in the first place, he's the one to refund it - in theory. In practice this is usually handed over to some third party organisation who take a handsome cut of your refund, if indeed there is any refund at all.

My experience with so-called 'VAT-free shopping' in the UK got me back between 10% and nothing of 17.5%...
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Old 09.11.2009, 22:20
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Re: German VAT refund at the Zoll station

If you pay by credit card, some traders will refund the VAT portion on receipt of the stamped form. As I understand it, they need the stamped form for their records to explain why they've not charged you VAT.

Of course, it being about €250 of German MWST, that'll be about 150CHF Swiss MWST when you declare your import of whatever you've bought.
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Old 08.03.2012, 15:34
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Re: German VAT refund at the Zoll station

last weekend, i did some shopping at metzingen, asking for the 'tax-free' forms with receipts. then while entering CH, i got them stamped by both Swiss and German customs. when i asked whether i needed to pay swiss VAT, they said it was below 300, so, i can go to a refund office and take back the cash directly.

well, being not too high a purchase, the refund is around 20 EUR. Is it worth going and getting it back from a refund office at Hauptbahnhof, or will the 'administrative charges' eat it up already?

also, in germany i was suggested, i could send back the receipts in the envelopes they provided. is this a better way (other than the time delay)?

thanks...
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Old 08.03.2012, 15:41
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Re: German VAT refund at the Zoll station

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last weekend, i did some shopping at metzingen, asking for the 'tax-free' forms with receipts. then while entering CH, i got them stamped by both Swiss and German customs
Not sure why you got a Swiss stamp and I think its likely to confuse others who may think this is part of the process.
As AbFab mentioned, you just need a German stamp to say that you've left the EU.
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