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Old 31.07.2020, 10:04
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EU tax refund while driving

I recently DROVE to France and bought a few things.
I received, filled out, and have in my hand all the tax refund paperwork.

Now that I'm back in CH (Zurich), how do I complete the paperwork / process for the Tax refund?

A second question --- is it even worth it?
Will I need to pay tax here or an import tax or......
Do I need to take all the product purchased somewhere for them to "review"

First time doing this and I'm not sure how to manage it.
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Old 31.07.2020, 10:15
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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I recently DROVE to France and bought a few things.
I received, filled out, and have in my hand all the tax refund paperwork.

Now that I'm back in CH (Zurich), how do I complete the paperwork / process for the Tax refund?

A second question --- is it even worth it?
Will I need to pay tax here or an import tax or......
Do I need to take all the product purchased somewhere for them to "review"

First time doing this and I'm not sure how to manage it.
You should have the paperwork stamped when you left France & then declared at Swiss customs on arrival if over 300chf per person.
Best to return to the shop for a refund as if you use a refund service they will take most in charges.
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Old 31.07.2020, 10:19
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

I think you missed some steps.

When you leave the EU customs union you must get a stamp at the EU side border post which proofs that you exported the goods.

At the Swiss side you must voluntarily declare if the net value (w/o foreign VAT) of the imported goods is more than CHF 300. You can do so in three different ways: Verbally at a manned Swiss border post, written using the provided forms at an unmanned Swiss border post, or whith your mobile phone using the QuickZoll app https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...n-per-app.html

See and read also do understand the process on the Swiss side. Failing to do so is smuggling and can result in a fine:
https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...itzerland.html
and
https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...itzerland.html
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Old 31.07.2020, 13:36
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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A second question --- is it even worth it?
It is [French VAT value - Swiss due VAT if any - third party fee if any] compared vs the price you put on the time you will need to do it

If you want to get the VAT back, at this point, from Zurich, the easiest thing to do is probably to drive to the closest EU border bringing the goods (important), German border likely, get into Germany and drive out, while getting your forms stamped.
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Old 31.07.2020, 13:44
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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If you want to get the VAT back, at this point, from Zurich, the easiest thing to do is probably to drive to the closest EU border bringing the goods (important), German border likely, get into Germany and drive out, while getting your forms stamped.
First, this is actually illegal and is tax and duty fraud. Second, if you do it do not use the same crossings. Specially do not drive in, get the stamp, and then immediately out. Third, they might check the date on the receipt and ask you where the heck you have been between time of purchase and getting the stamp so late. Forth, people got caught and got burned. Fraudster discretion advised, smuggle responsibly.
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Old 31.07.2020, 17:02
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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First, this is actually illegal and is tax and duty fraud. Second, if you do it do not use the same crossings. Specially do not drive in, get the stamp, and then immediately out. Third, they might check the date on the receipt and ask you where the heck you have been between time of purchase and getting the stamp so late. Forth, people got caught and got burned. Fraudster discretion advised, smuggle responsibly.
Fair, technically speaking. But I think it also comes down to the common sense: at the end of the day OP had the right to that VAT and did not get it just because they did not know how (which yes, in theory is their problem). I would attempt it only if the goods are not visibly used though. Also, it is not even clear so far if the goods were >300chf, in that case OP already technically committed a criminal offence and doing what I suggested might actually be "the right thing".

If Swiss VAT is not due, it might be worth a shot (as opposed to, for example what would be really bad is if OP had 10 invoices for 299chf each, did not pay VAT, and now goes to the border every day to stamp one of them).
The job of the EU agent border, at the end of the day, is to objectively confirm the fact that the person that the invoice was issued to is crossing the borders with the goods included in the invoice - and that would happen.

But yep, at your own risk at the end of the day
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Old 31.07.2020, 17:15
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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First, this is actually illegal

Says who?
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Old 31.07.2020, 17:26
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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at the end of the day OP had the right to that VAT
No, they do NOT.

VAT refund is optional, it is NOT a right!

Tom
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Old 31.07.2020, 17:31
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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If you want to get the VAT back, at this point, from Zurich, the easiest thing to do is probably to drive to the closest EU border bringing the goods (important), German border likely, get into Germany and drive out, while getting your forms stamped.

Please don’t do what is suggested here.
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Old 31.07.2020, 17:42
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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Says who?
Technically aSwissInTheUS is right - VAT refund is for new goods you bought and you are exporting with the intent of personal use. In this case, these would not be exported goods - these are just "stuff OP already had a private luggage when they crossed into EU".


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No, they do NOT.

VAT refund is optional, it is NOT a right!


Tom
It depends on the country and to be honest I don't know how it works in France (in Italy for example getting the VAT back for a non-EU resident is a right). But even if in France this is at discretion of the merchant, OP already had all the documents in hand, how was it "optional and not a right"?

Unless there is a rule that says "upon exiting EU, the border agent, based on their mood that day, might or might not stamp the form".
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Old 31.07.2020, 18:49
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Re: EU tax refund while driving

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It depends on the country and to be honest I don't know how it works in France (in Italy for example getting the VAT back for a non-EU resident is a right). But even if in France this is at discretion of the merchant, OP already had all the documents in hand, how was it "optional and not a right"?

Unless there is a rule that says "upon exiting EU, the border agent, based on their mood that day, might or might not stamp the form".

Whether the retailer gives you the VAT back or not is up to the retailer. If you have a form from the retailer then the export officer should stamp it if everything is in order.

"In order" includes that the goods haven't already crossed the border. I doubt that submitting the form to re-import is in itself illegal unless you lie or are doing it in some grand scale.
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