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Old 13.08.2009, 17:19
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Fees/taxes about car import from US

Hi everyone,

I am thinking about importing my car to Switzerland when I move there at the end of the year. According to their requirements and if I understand well what was already said here, if the car is bought more than 6 months prior to the arrival there is no taxes, fees, etc. if bought less than 6 months, then taxable, etc.

My question is: Which day is considered the "buy" date? The day you pay off the car and have the title with your name on OR the day you signed the loan contract and drive it the first time??

If anyone knows I will appreciate...thanks!
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Old 13.08.2009, 18:32
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

It is the date you signed the purchase agreement. If you bought the car using 36 months financing, and you paid the car off 3 months ago, you have "owned" it for 39 months, not 3.
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Old 13.08.2009, 21:35
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

What if someone gave you a used car so that, effectively, you paid nothing for it other than the registration fee? How do they calculate the tax then?
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Old 14.08.2009, 17:11
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

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It is the date you signed the purchase agreement. If you bought the car using 36 months financing, and you paid the car off 3 months ago, you have "owned" it for 39 months, not 3.
Thanks a lot Village Idiot, I appreciate your info. I better start packing!
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Old 14.08.2009, 17:52
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

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What if someone gave you a used car so that, effectively, you paid nothing for it other than the registration fee? How do they calculate the tax then?
If it were over 6 months old - which free used cars invariably are - you'd pay no tax.
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Old 14.08.2009, 19:18
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

Are you sure? I imported a car into the UK (yes, I realise it is a different country with different rules, but I would be surprised if you could import a car without paying duty on it) and the rule there was that you had to produce an invoice for the car. If you couldn't, or if the invoice was improbably low (eg, a $1 car), you were required to pay duty based on the fair market value of the car.

Simply because it is a gift does not exempt it from being taxable. If someone gave you a new camera, in theory you should declare it and pay the tax on it when you import it into Switzerland -- regardless of the fact that it "cost" you nothing. I can't understand why a car would be any different...

If, on the other hand, it was an older car that genuinely had little or no fair market value, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to import it and pay virtually no tax on it.
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Old 15.08.2009, 00:47
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

I was posting out of curiosity, mostly. I'm expecting to have to pay tax to import my motorcycle since, technically, I've "owned" it less than six months (it is, however, a 2008 model). Since I avoided paying the use tax here by having it gifted to me, I'm already ahead by not having to pay two taxes.
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Old 13.11.2009, 18:17
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Re: Fees/taxes about car import from US

Out of curiosity, what is your car model? Does it exist in Switzerland and if not, how will you get it compliant with the local requirements? I am in the same boat :-)
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