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Old 02.04.2010, 23:44
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VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

A quick question (while I doubt that the answer will be quick, as I have researched enough on this topic on the internet to find nothing useful!)

If I buy something in Italy, I am entitiled to 14% odd VAT refund as CH is not a part of EU. How do I claim this VAT back in case I am not travelling through any of the Italian airports and am entering Switzerland by train from Milan.

Shall appreciate if any of you who succeeded in getting the refund processed, can share her experience.

-GS
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Old 03.04.2010, 00:23
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

Hi Gsach,

I know it's not an experince of Italy, but I was in Austria for a weekend and I got the tourist information leaflet which spoke about 'Tax Free' shopping in Salzburg.
When I went to the train station I was told there was no way to get the tax back when coming back to Switzerland. The Salzburg station is obviously not on a border, and it will not stop just so I can get a stamp from the Austrian border patrol, when I come back.
I would expect it to be the same for Italy. I think you need to be careful where your train leaves from.

I do food shopping in Germany, it's local and the Zoll guys are there at the station, which is also on a border, so as long as I don't go over the 175 Euros, the tax difference is all mine, well pretty much.

The process is, get a form from the shop you bought your goods as you buy them. Fill in name address etc. Get a stamp from the border of the country you bought the goods. Has to be on the day you buy them, unless you're holidaying and can prove it with your tickets.
Depending on the form, you either go back to the shop again within 6 months to collect the tax, or with the official 'Tax Free' shopping service you go to a booth at stations or airports (already with border stamp on it) and they rip you off, er I mean they give you a portion of your tax back. They take a big cut.
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Old 03.04.2010, 00:26
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

first you need a special receipt from the retailer, not many like the extra work. Get the necessary Italian claim form.

second you need to pay the Swiss tax and get the official receipt

thirdly you need to claim the Italian tax back sending both receipts

fourth expect a very long wait
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Old 03.04.2010, 02:06
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

Dont know if this is all over Italy but in florence bought 2 pairs of shoes in foot locker and I was able to go to a tax office(the girl in Foot locker told me where it was) and they gave me the tax back without stamp from the border.
We just had to prove that we lived in Switzerland, and yes they do take a big commission but better than nothing
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Old 04.04.2010, 10:54
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

As for what BishyBashy said In theory you should get off the train in Chiasso and get some customs official to stamp your tax free form, sometimes these guys "Dogana" get on the train then you can ask them directly.
If you can't get off the train or find the Italian customs guy who is probably busy drinking a coffee or chatting, I think these forms can be signed at any border crossing just look for the laziest border guard and get all your forms stamped within the 3 month limit.
Once it is stamped you can pick up the money - in CHF - at the Geldwechseln near the ticket counters in Zurich HB.
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Old 07.04.2010, 16:40
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

thanks.. useful info!
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Old 07.04.2010, 20:34
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

I think you can click on the thank me link ciao adam
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Old 20.05.2011, 15:34
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Re: VAT refunds for purchases in Italy if travelling by train

Hey
Is the process the same for a 2hand car?


The shop dealer says it's "IVA reducibile" but it says one needs to get it back from the government(?)
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