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Old 09.01.2010, 21:58
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Buying new in the UK: exporting and reclaiming VAT and then paying Swiss duty

I've done a lot of various searches across the forum and I'm sure this can't be the first time someone has asked this, but...

If I buy in the UK and then bring something into Switzerland, can I reclaim the VAT in the UK and then pay the 7.6% Swiss VAT (thus saving 10%) or is there a catch? There seems to be a weight duty to apply as well but this doesn't seem to be huge...

If there are lonks to other threads that answer this, I apologise for not finding them...
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Old 09.01.2010, 22:16
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Re: buying new in the UK. Exporting and reclaining VAT and then paying Swiss duty

of course you can... everyone I know does it when they go to the UK... buy whatever you want, claim back 17.5% VAT then when you get here go through the goods to declare, show them receipts pay your tax here, and you have a nice little discount...
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Old 09.01.2010, 23:10
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Re: buying new in the UK. Exporting and reclaining VAT and then paying Swiss duty

http://www.englishforum.ch/finance-b...purchases.html

look at the very bottom of this page for similar threads.
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Old 10.01.2010, 00:11
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Re: buying new in the UK. Exporting and reclaining VAT and then paying Swiss duty

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If there are lonks to other threads that answer this, I apologise for not finding them...
I also apologise for the appalling spelling in both the title and the initial post!!
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Old 10.01.2010, 12:59
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Re: Buying new in the UK: exporting and reclaiming VAT and then paying Swiss duty

Fixed the spelling in the thread title; your first post is beyond redemption, though.

Yes, you are welcome to claim back the VAT from the UK (or France/Germany/Italy/anywhere else), then pay Swiss VAT on return here. Because the Swiss allow a tax-free threshold of CHF300 per person per day, you can often end up paying no VAT on your cross-border purchases.

Check out the other threads for more detail. One thing that does bug me, though, is that nearly all retailers in the UK use VAT refund agencies to facilitate their tax-free shopping. These agencies take a very sizeable chunk of the VAT refund, which results in your discount being as low as 8 or 9% instead of the 15% you would expect if the 17.5% VAT were fully refunded. Shops in Germany, France and I think Italy that are close to the Swiss border usually provide direct refunds of 100% of the VAT paid.

So, unfortunately, you mightn't get as large a "discount" by buying VAT-free in the UK as you may have hoped, and once you pay your Swiss VAT (for that portion of purchases over CHF300 net of tax), there may be little benefit.
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Old 06.04.2010, 18:43
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Re: Buying new in the UK: exporting and reclaiming VAT and then paying Swiss duty

How does the paperwork work for purchases under CHF300? Suppose I buy a CHF200 item in France.

I get the refund paperwork from the merchant. For an item over 300CHF, I first pay my Swiss tax, then walk over to French customs with the receipt for Swiss tax and the refund form, and they go a little crazy with their rubber stamp, stamping everything in triplicate. I post the original back to the shop, and a week later, I get the money back on my credit card.

My question is -- for something under the import limit, what do I show the French customs guys to get the rubber-stamp lovin'?
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Old 06.04.2010, 19:18
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Re: Buying new in the UK: exporting and reclaiming VAT and then paying Swiss duty

Why do the Frenchies need to see that you've paid Swiss tax?
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Old 06.04.2010, 19:42
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Re: Buying new in the UK: exporting and reclaiming VAT and then paying Swiss duty

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Why do the Frenchies need to see that you've paid Swiss tax?

Because they're French?
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