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Old 20.04.2007, 11:56
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get back VAT @ airport?

Hello all,

I am leaving Switzerland after working here for about 2years. In this time I have bought quite a lot of electronic stuff. I was once told by a friend of mine that I can get back all the VAT I pay on consumer durables while I finally leave the county. Is that true? Whom to contact for this?

Thanks!
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Old 20.04.2007, 12:35
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

if you bought them as a tourist, maybe.
if you bought them as a resident, not a chance.

And you'd have to produce the good when leaving and prove non-resident status when buying - and complete the forms.

Your "mate" was telling porkies mate
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Old 20.04.2007, 12:44
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

I have a lot of goods... laptop, etc. If it's just a case of filling up form and stuff, I would go for it. But it's really a news for me that it's allowed only for tourists and not for people on temporary work permit.

...and as for my friend, I will make sure he drinks less
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Old 20.04.2007, 12:48
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

2 years is hardly "temporary", I think you'll find

besides then you're liable for tax at your destination - probably more than 7.6% you paid here
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Old 20.04.2007, 12:53
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

At my place we don't need to pay VAT on items we buy abroad, if they are used. So, no problems

Has anybody got any idea what form to fill and where to get it from?
For me it's a huge sum. I can do the necessary search if I get a point to start...
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Old 20.04.2007, 12:59
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

i guess the rule is that if you buy the stuff before 1 month of ur departure, u get the VAT refund....

recently one of my friend went back home for a vaccation(ofcourse he has been working here since a year)... he got the VAT refund for all those stuff that he had bought during dat 1 month period....

pls correct me if i m wrong...
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Old 20.04.2007, 13:10
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

I have a lot in that category too... things that I have bought recently. Could you please tell me what did your friend do to get this refund?
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Old 20.04.2007, 13:17
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

see this:

http://www.estv.admin.ch/e/mwst/themen/vat/index.htm

Well, this is too technical for me. Can anybody help?
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  #9  
Old 20.04.2007, 14:27
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

well he got some electronics stuff for personal & gift purpose...he filled some forms at the shop itself...and he had to show them at airport...

do know the exact details....

i think the total bill was of some 1200 francs...there is a min limit above which u get the refund...not sure abt it either..
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Old 20.04.2007, 15:03
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

Hmmm... I called up the shop where I bought most of the goods from. He has absolutely no idea of what that form might be!
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Old 20.04.2007, 15:28
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

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Hmmm... I called up the shop where I bought most of the goods from. He has absolutely no idea of what that form might be!
Generally what you need to get is the "Global Refund" forms. If you ask for these they normally know what you are talking about.

Additionally, the minimum purchase price before you can claim the tax back is 400CHF. This can be made up of multiple items on a single receipt.

There is a time limit by which you must claim the VAT. Don't know what that limit is but it is less than two years.

You must show the goods on export to the Customs Officer. The Customs Officer will then direct you to the cash desk which will process your order.

If you reclaim the VAT, you must pay the relevant taxes when you import the goods at your destination. If you do not reclaim the VAT it is unlikely that you are liable for tax at the other end (but that doesn't mean you are not liable)

The Global Refund forms are normally only issued at the time of purchase on presentation of identity that demonstrates non-residence (a foreign passport is normally sufficient). You are unlikely to be able to get the forms for purchase you made two years ago - assuming you have kept the receipt, of course.
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Old 20.04.2007, 15:36
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

On a related note, in many cases if you are visiting your country of origin you can buy stuff tax-free there and claim the money back at the airport on the way back to Switzlerland. Obviously you'll need to provide proof of residence in Switzerland.

Technically, you're supposed to pay the required taxes on it when you bring it into CH .... In the case of small, expensive consumer gadgets you could very well 'forget' about them once they're in your pocket, though.

However, you should make sure about the laws in the specific country you are visiting. In the UK your chosen shop has to be signed up for tax-free trading. They'll give you a form when you buy the goods.
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Old 10.07.2008, 15:11
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

Has anyone actually claimed VAT refund. also do i need that long ass form from each place i bought the item, or is a receipt enough to claim a vat refund at the airport?
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Old 10.07.2008, 15:56
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

I have claimed a vat REFUND 2 months back in South Africa (I guess that the rules are more or less...? the same, take a few ones that is stricter or less strict)..but here was my process:
Not sure what is teh limit on time for claiming, anyway...we packed all the goodies in one suitcase that we wanted to claim back, still had to have the price tags on though. So, with that suitcase and all the receipts issued by the shops (these are either special vat claims forms, or was also valid when a Vat refund number was on the receipt from the till slip) had to go to some special place where you have to open this suitcase and show the goodies against the receipts. I was lucky, they only went through about 3 of my slips (had a gazzilion of them) with a full suitcase!

Then, they stamp the slips with special vat whatever stamp, and was told to go to the refund cash desk. Well, luckilly we had enough time inbetween our flights as this Q was very long. So...you get (eventually) to the front, and state yr name, adres etc and he puts into computer EACH receipt indivually by name of shop, and Vat refund number and then the amount claimed.
Also, at this stage, some of the items was rejected (for whatever we did not have) ...a vat refund number was missing? Must be.
After a long wait, we received a form in which you have to give them yr bank details, and they will then within a few days (you get a confirmation slip) a bank transfer..(I am sure that one could receive it in another form).

Anyway, it was a very lenghty process, and time consuming (at least in SA Jnb airport) and we got back CHF200 for it...was it worth for CHF200...not so sure, as it was many Q's and took quite some organising in the packing upfront to have the items available agains the slips. Mayeb other countries works slightly different, but I guess the process is mor eor less the same...

Good luck in claiming yr articles...It must be in the original state, and for us it was required to still have the price slips tags on, ie not used.

just my experience!
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Old 10.07.2008, 16:01
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Re: get back VAT @ airport?

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Has anyone actually claimed VAT refund. also do i need that long ass form from each place i bought the item, or is a receipt enough to claim a vat refund at the airport?
I just wrote you my whole experience, but to answer yr question...
I needed to complete a form at the refund office...for me, it was good enough to have a receipt, BUT the receipt HAD to have a VAT REFUND number printed on it, and when it was not printed on it, you had to have a proper Tourism refund form from the shop.

You can only claim a refund if you are a visitor, leaving the country .. (my guess here!)

Good luck!
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