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Old 26.08.2010, 15:36
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Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

Hello All,

I've checked numerous VAT and customs threads on here, but not quite found the right answer yet.

As I buy lots of bike components and stuff from UK/Germany it is quite common to have to pay Swiss VAT when they arrive - usually direct to the postman. However, what happens if you return the goods for any reason? Are you entitled to get the Swiss VAT back, and how do you do it?

Fortunately I haven't had to do this yet, but I'd like to know what the options are before I start ordering more expensive parts!
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Old 26.08.2010, 15:56
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

It's feasible, but not easy, you would need to go to a freight forwarder who would take care of sending the articles back and reclaiming VAT. With the admin fee you would end up owing money quite likely !

I would suggest that unless you are sure about the bits you order, find another way to get them. Go to Germany and bring them back yourself ?
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Old 28.01.2013, 16:54
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

Hey guys...

I know this is an old post but the matter is 100% relevant. I ran into the problem envisioned by Stu&Kara:

I bought a guitar worth around EUR 800. Paid VAT on it about (90 CHF including Admin charges). Had to return it for some technical faults. I do not want the exact item from the online store again, however, I am buying some other items (guitar processor, cables, harmonica) for more or less the same monetary value (750 EUR).

So folks:

1. How do I get the refund of the VAT I paid on the return item?
2. If getting the VAT back is not feasible (admin etc overheads), would it be legal to have the replacement items supplied "in-lieu"/return etc so I don't end up paying the same tax on?

Also, any other suggestions on how to fix this would be welcome. Have a great day.
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Old 28.01.2013, 19:08
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

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Hey guys...

I know this is an old post but the matter is 100% relevant. I ran into the problem envisioned by Stu&Kara:

I bought a guitar worth around EUR 800. Paid VAT on it about (90 CHF including Admin charges). Had to return it for some technical faults. I do not want the exact item from the online store again, however, I am buying some other items (guitar processor, cables, harmonica) for more or less the same monetary value (750 EUR).

So folks:

1. How do I get the refund of the VAT I paid on the return item?
2. If getting the VAT back is not feasible (admin etc overheads), would it be legal to have the replacement items supplied "in-lieu"/return etc so I don't end up paying the same tax on?

Also, any other suggestions on how to fix this would be welcome. Have a great day.

look on the zoll website, there is a form for refunds and exchanges etc
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Old 28.01.2013, 20:47
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

My experience was we did not get the VAT returned. Bought an item from Germany for 350 Euro. Received a VAT bill from FedEx. I can't remember the exact amounts. It was under 50.
But long story short..... we returned the item to the company and then I received the bill again from FedEx. Called and explained we return the item but it didn't matter. We were told we could fight the charges but we would have to pay to fight the charges. It ended up being a wash, so just paid the FedEx VAT and learned my lesson.
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Old 29.01.2013, 11:05
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

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My experience was we did not get the VAT returned. Bought an item from Germany for 350 Euro. Received a VAT bill from FedEx. I can't remember the exact amounts. It was under 50.
But long story short..... we returned the item to the company and then I received the bill again from FedEx. Called and explained we return the item but it didn't matter. We were told we could fight the charges but we would have to pay to fight the charges. It ended up being a wash, so just paid the FedEx VAT and learned my lesson.
Exactly my point... for 50 eur i might let go too... but boy does it hurt for for an amount over 100!
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Old 29.01.2013, 11:09
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

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look on the zoll website, there is a form for refunds and exchanges etc
Thanks for the tip... I found the document in (German, French and Italian) here [LINK] http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_fir...x.html?lang=it [/LINK] "Merci di ritorno" ... I'll ask my friend to translate it and update the post.
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Old 29.01.2013, 11:35
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

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Thanks for the tip... I found the document in (German, French and Italian) here [LINK] http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_fir...x.html?lang=it [/LINK] "Merci di ritorno" ... I'll ask my friend to translate it and update the post.
English is here: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_fir...x.html?lang=en

Basically, you only can get the VAT back if the item is new and unused.

Also, you have to pay 5% of the VAT, with a CHF 30 minimum, and CHF 500 maximum.

So, you only get the VAT - 30 back, but not the admin charges.

Tom
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Old 29.01.2013, 12:52
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

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English is here: http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_fir...x.html?lang=en

Basically, you only can get the VAT back if the item is new and unused.

Also, you have to pay 5% of the VAT, with a CHF 30 minimum, and CHF 500 maximum.

So, you only get the VAT - 30 back, but not the admin charges.

Tom
Thanx so much Tom!!
Reading it in english makes me understand how limpy my italian is hehe... Couple of things:

1. This is about re-exportation and not returns. Wikipedia reference-linkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Re-exportation
2. I agree that admin and other overheads will still not be refunded.
3. I found the original VAT Act (http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c641_20.html) but wouldn't dare read the translation! :P

So I guess the best thing would be to contact DHL or some tax expert.
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Old 29.01.2013, 12:56
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Re: Refund of Swiss VAT when returning purchase made in EU

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1. This is about re-exportation and not returns.
Same thing in this case.

Tom
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