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Old 20.08.2010, 08:50
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Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

As reported in todays Aargauer Zeitung, there have been 4 Swiss people fined by the German authorities recently for breaking the rules with regard to claiming back German MWSt (Sales Tax) when personally exporting shopping to Switzerland. There were details of 2 of the cases:
  • The shopper must be in possession of the goods when presenting the export document for validation. A Swiss woman was fined €90 for trying to claim back the MWSt on her food shopping from the previous week.
  • After getting the form stamped, you must go directly across the border (do not pass go, do not collect £200). A Swiss man is facing a €900 fine. His form was stamped at the Waldshut Zoll office but he then turned his car around and proceeded to drive back into Germany with the intention of crossing the border at another (more convenient) location
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Old 20.08.2010, 08:55
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

Oops, I was going to ask if I can have the form stamped for something I bought two weeks ago, I stupidly forgot to have the forms stamped ...I am happy it was only 10 euros back boohoo, Thanks Jekyll
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Old 20.08.2010, 09:03
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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Oops, I was going to ask if I can have the form stamped for something I bought two weeks ago, I stupidly forgot to have the forms stamped ...I am happy it was only 10 euros back boohoo, Thanks Jekyll
Angela,

You can get the form stamped and reclaim the MWSt up to 6 months after the purchase however you must have the goods with you at the time you get the form stamped.

Jekyll
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Old 20.08.2010, 11:03
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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.[*]After getting the form stamped, you must go directly across the border (do not pass go, do not collect £200). ..
What if you cross the border, then cross back immediately? Or must you go home and unpack before leaving the country again?

It makes sense though - stopping people getting the form stamped to get the tax back, then not exporting the goods. It also explains why sometimes we're asked where our car is at Weil-Am-Rhein.
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Old 20.08.2010, 11:08
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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What if you cross the border, then cross back immediately? Or must you go home and unpack before leaving the country again?
You can turn right around and go back again if you want - just bear in mind that you whatever you bought might then be subject to import tax into Germany (unlikely but possible)
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Old 20.08.2010, 13:20
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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You can turn right around and go back again if you want - just bear in mind that you whatever you bought might then be subject to import tax into Germany (unlikely but possible)
I think you can turn right around and go back again, provided you declare these items as personal items/items that will be re-exported, which again entails import and re-xport documentations, once again, probably some filling out forms and fees.
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Old 11.08.2011, 23:06
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

Is there already a thread about HOW to go about claiming back MWSt? Specifically, what needs to be done:
  • when buying an article?
  • when entering Switzerland? - what if there is no Beamte?
  • is there a lower limit to how much can be claimed?
Thanks!
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Old 11.08.2011, 23:40
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

You can turn around and go back again provided you cross the borders ... as that means you are entering Switzerland (and hence passing through Swiss customs) before re-entering Germany. It's the turning right round after getting the forms stamped without actually leaving the country which isn't allowed.

As for getting the tax back on goods bought previously .. technically it's not allowed. You have up to 6 months after purchasing the goods, but that's to allow you to spend those 6 months living in Germany, not coming back to Switzerland and then taking your stuff back over the border on a second trip - although that's exactly what I did when I bought my bicycle.

Also, a friend did this once when the German customs were shut (in Basel Bad Bf) and was actually told by someone working there to go back the next day, which he did.
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Old 16.08.2011, 09:54
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

Does the form have to be in original when reclaiming the MWSt? Last week I bought some stuff from Germany and when I asked for the form they gave me a copy and got it stamped the same day. On the form it said " No cash refunds in the store" So I presumed I would have to go to Badisher Bhanhof to claim the Vat. When I got there, they refused saying the form was not in original.

Has this ever happened to anyone?

Thanks.
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Old 16.08.2011, 10:04
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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Does the form have to be in original when reclaiming the MWSt? Last week I bought some stuff from Germany and when I asked for the form they gave me a copy and got it stamped the same day. On the form it said " No cash refunds in the store" So I presumed I would have to go to Badisher Bhanhof to claim the Vat. When I got there, they refused saying the form was not in original.

Has this ever happened to anyone?

Thanks.

strange what form do you have - has the store given you one of the tax free shopping forms like this



if so then its the wrong form, you can still claim the tax back but the "tax free" company take a percentage. ALL other normal forms the tax is given back in the shop you bought the goods from.
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Old 16.08.2011, 10:49
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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You can turn around and go back again provided you cross the borders ... as that means you are entering Switzerland (and hence passing through Swiss customs) before re-entering Germany. It's the turning right round after getting the forms stamped without actually leaving the country which isn't allowed.
And, as others have pointed out, you must declare the goods again at the German border, and (re)pay German VAT. There was an item in the news last week about a woman who exported something from Germany, reclaimed the VAT, then re-imported it (without declaring it). She was caught and fined EUR3000.

(See the 4th story): http://www.theenglishshow.com/basel-...gust-2011.html

It's also worth noting that the strong franc means many more people are crossing the border to shop -- and that Customs controls, both at the border and with the roving Grenzwache, are becoming much more common. My advice: be sure to declare if you owe and respect the customs limits (meat, alcohol, etc), because the fines are substantial if you don't.
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Old 16.08.2011, 11:02
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

To contradict Rob1 ... if you buy stuff in Karstadt (department store) in Lorrach, they give you a "Global Blue" tax form which says "no cash refund in store".

What you can do is get it from the Global Blue refund office in Badischer Bahnhof, but if you do that you lose loads of money (as they take 50% as commission, and convert it from EUR to CHF at their own rate).

What you should do is ignore all those instructions on the form, take it back to Karstadt at the same desk where you got it from, and they give you the full cash back.
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Old 16.08.2011, 11:04
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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And, as others have pointed out, you must declare the goods again at the German border, and (re)pay German VAT. There was an item in the news last week about a woman who exported something from Germany, reclaimed the VAT, then re-imported it (without declaring it). She was caught and fined EUR3000.

(See the 4th story): http://www.theenglishshow.com/basel-news/2-august-2011.html
Not relevant. She got caught giving the goods to a German friend.
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Old 16.08.2011, 11:29
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

I have recently made several trips over the border to germany (influenced by currency exchange) for purchasing. Only the other day I purchased some goods (online) and paid the German cost via a bank transfer (no tax). Since I was picking the goods up from the shop and would be on foot the shop owner kindly drove me to the border (it was raining also) with the green form. I got it stamped at the German side then walked over to the swiss side to pay the 8% CH tax while the shop owner waited in the car. I then handed the form to shop owner and I was happily on my way...easy..

I wondered if the shop owner actually cared if I paid the CH tax because they are only interested in getting the stamped green form back so they don't have to pay the 19% DE tax. He said, sometimes it is a pain to offer the tax refund as the paper work involved and waiting for the green form to come back (up to 3 months) and can leave open ends. I am quite happy to declare and pay the CH tax....when I am getting the DE tax back.
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Old 16.08.2011, 11:38
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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Is there already a thread about HOW to go about claiming back MWSt? Specifically, what needs to be done:
  • when buying an article?
  • when entering Switzerland? - what if there is no Beamte?
  • is there a lower limit to how much can be claimed?
Thanks!
Several.

My additional points

1) take your auslander ausweiss - i.e. proof that you live in CH with you. We've been caught once without it and they won't offer you a refund if you get an arsey chap/pette.

2) don't change address or name details on the form if already auto-completed (e.g. on forms from Hornbacher or Bauhaus if you have a customer number). We have frequently done so in the past (to share the "tax burden" across family members), but more recently the guy refused the refund because we'd crossed out my wife's name and put in mine... (we were both there) Bastard.
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Old 16.08.2011, 12:22
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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To contradict Rob1 ... if you buy stuff in Karstadt (department store) in Lorrach, they give you a "Global Blue" tax form which says "no cash refund in store".

What you can do is get it from the Global Blue refund office in Badischer Bahnhof, but if you do that you lose loads of money (as they take 50% as commission, and convert it from EUR to CHF at their own rate).

What you should do is ignore all those instructions on the form, take it back to Karstadt at the same desk where you got it from, and they give you the full cash back.

I am going to try this!
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Old 24.08.2019, 19:11
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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As reported in todays Aargauer Zeitung, there have been 4 Swiss people fined by the German authorities recently for breaking the rules with regard to claiming back German MWSt (Sales Tax) when personally exporting shopping to Switzerland. There were details of 2 of the cases:
  • The shopper must be in possession of the goods when presenting the export document for validation. A Swiss woman was fined €90 for trying to claim back the MWSt on her food shopping from the previous week.
  • After getting the form stamped, you must go directly across the border (do not pass go, do not collect £200). A Swiss man is facing a €900 fine. His form was stamped at the Waldshut Zoll office but he then turned his car around and proceeded to drive back into Germany with the intention of crossing the border at another (more convenient) location
Old thread, but does anyone know if this is still the case? For the first time I'm planning to claim on some stuff I bought at Bauhaus - 800-odd euros worth, and there will be more over the next few months - for our house in Valais. Currently sitting in our garage in France, but I'll be going into CH again, without the goods, in a few days, so was hoping I could do the claim then, at the Lorrach/Riehen border post, in order to avoid a detour - indeed a double detour if I have to cross directly into CH after I do the claim - when I do take the stuff down.

And I saw talk elsewhere about a green form, seeming to suggest that you need to go back to the shop to get the tax back, but we were given something from the shop, stamped up especially, who seemed to be saying that we'd get the cash back from the offic itself, not the shop.

So what's the latest score on this please?
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Old 24.08.2019, 19:29
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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Old thread,
So what's the latest score on this please?
The rule still applies. Export from the EU must occur immediately after obtaining the stamps on your forms. They seem to be very strict about this rule for people with large quantities of stuff in cars, as if the car is turned around and does not exit the country it is fairly noticeable as opposed to a train passenger getting it stamped at a station and then wandering off somewhere else instead of immediately boarding the next train to CH with the goods.
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Old 24.08.2019, 20:15
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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And I saw talk elsewhere about a green form, seeming to suggest that you need to go back to the shop to get the tax back, but we were given something from the shop, stamped up especially, who seemed to be saying that we'd get the cash back from the offic itself, not the shop.

So what's the latest score on this please?
Store dictates the method since it is all voluntarily and they might even charge you costs for it. But you will not be getting the money back from the German authorities that is up to the person who sold you the product.
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Old 24.08.2019, 20:35
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Re: Things to avoid doing when claiming back German MWSt

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Store dictates the method since it is all voluntarily and they might even charge you costs for it. But you will not be getting the money back from the German authorities that is up to the person who sold you the product.
So this seems inconsistent with the idea of crossing the border straight away. I have to cross into Switzerland, then come back another time to get the money back? Seems odd, and i know that the one time, many years ago, when I did it I certainly went back to the shop first before crossing the border.
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