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22 yards, thank you for a swift reply. Could you be a bit more specific? Ik am on a B-permit. So I do to IKEA DE, buy the stuff and get a receipt including 19% VAT. Lets say EUR 100 + EUR 19 (VAT) = EUR 119.
At the Swiss border, I would declare and pay (at the border?) 8% of 119 = EUR 9.52 (currently CHF 10.44). In total I have now paid EUR 119 + EUR 9.52 = EUR 128.52.
What is the amount that I can claim back? The EUR 19? And if so, how do I go about this (I am in CH since december 1st 2015 so have not yet dealt with tax return).
Your help is much appreciated.
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B permit means that you can indeed claim back German VAT (MWSt).
Your calculations were almost correct:
You buy something from IKEA for €100 +€19 (MWSt) = €119
You get your receipt* stamped at the border by the German authorities. This enables you to claim the full amount of German MWSt back.
If the total value net of German MWSt of your imports is more than CHF 300 (at current exchange rate) per person (some further conditions apply), you then declare your goods to the Swiss border guards and pay Swiss MWSt on the net-of-tax value, i.e. 8% x €100 = €8 (payable in CHF at the current rate of exchange).
With most shops near the border, you take your stamped receipt/Ausfuhrschein* back to the shop for an immediate cash refund. In the case of IKEA, you need to mail your stamped receipt (copy it first!) to them along with a copy of your Swiss B permit and details of your bank account, and they will deposit your refund directly into your bank account.
Once you have received your German MWSt refund, you will have paid net €119-19+8 = €108, saving €11 or 9.2%. If you fall below the CHF 300 per person per day threshold, you would pay no Swiss MWSt and your savings would amount to €19, or 16.0%.
Refund of EU VAT, and payment of Swiss VAT on personal imports, has nothing to do with your Swiss income tax return.
*Most shops near the border issue a form (Ausfuhrschein) to which your receipt is stapled, then the form is stamped by the EU border guard. IIRC, IKEA does not provide an Ausfuhrschein, so you simply get the receipt stamped.