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Another VAT Questions

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Jan 13th, 2012, 01:01 PM
  #1
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Another VAT Questions

Good Day everyone,

I am going to Geneva from Paris and from Geneva I will go to Venice, Italy and my final destination is Rome then I will flight back to my country.

My question is should I claim my VAT before go to Geneva or I still can claim my VAT at Rome which is my last depart EU? I understood that Switzerland is not EU. Thanks Kenny.
kennyyeap is offline  
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Jan 13th, 2012, 01:25 PM
  #2
 
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When you leave Paris, claim VAT back because you are leaving the EU. If you make any purchases in Geneva, claim VAT back when you leave Switzerland. Italian purchases, claim when you leave Rome.
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Jan 13th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Are you flying from Paris to Geneva? I never figured out the procedure of VAT refund when traveling by train. At the airports there are Customs offices, but I have never had luck at rail stations or on the train. Does anyone know how to do this when traveling by train?
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:41 PM
  #4
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nope I'm traveling by train. So which mean I have to claim tax in Geneva Train station right?
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:47 PM
  #5
 
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This has to be done in Rome.

Flights from Paris to Geneva are often counted as domestic, with no French Customs officials anywhere. Not just because of Schengen, but because of the peculiar geography of Geneva airport. You MIGHT find a French Customs official at Geneva Cointrin railway station, though I've never heard of anyone actually pinning one down.

Once you've re-entered the EU, though, Italian Customs at Rome airport when you're leaving Italy will take no interest at all in how you got to Rome. You've got French-bought goods, and appropriate documentation. Assuming you can find the Doganieri, they'll stamp the docs without blinking an eyelid..

Whether you get the money back, or it disappears into the Annual Doganieri Christmas Party Fund is a different question. But you talk to the Italians as you're leaving Rome.
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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kenny,

I can't help with train stations, have never tried to find a VAT office in a train station.

If you can't find a way to get the form stamped on leaving Paris you might be able to submit it in Rome if no one notices you've been in and out of the EU. Note "might".
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:53 PM
  #7
 
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If you're buying enough, post it. International mailing will wipe out the vat. Just be clear what the posting fees will be - some businesses don't charge much for international shipping (English Shaving Co., TM Lewin), others will mark up their costs or charge for handling and packing.
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Jan 13th, 2012, 02:59 PM
  #8
 
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I would go to customs at the Rome airport. Have your documents stamped, then either mail your form or go to the cashier who issues VAT refunds. You should have no problem at all. I didn't read that your final departure was out of Rome. Give yourself a little extra time at the airport. I have always gotten my refund credited to my credit card with no problems at all.
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Jan 13th, 2012, 03:31 PM
  #9
 
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Line at CDG at least 200 people long, 2 agents.
PatD is offline  
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Jan 13th, 2012, 03:43 PM
  #10
 
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You must not forget that while Switzerland is part of the Schengen zone (so no passport controls), it is not part of the VAT union which covers most of the EU.

While the Swiss authorities might be somewhat relaxed on what you "smuggle" into Switzerland, the neighboring countries are not that relaxed and spot controls on trains, roads, and airports are not uncommon when entering the EU from Switzerland.

Ignoring the initial VAT question, you will have to comply certain limits for entering Switzerland and later the EU again, so you are not smuggling. For CH, the limit is CHF 300 (for your planned purchases in France). If you spend more on Hermes scarfs and Louis Vuitton bags, you must declare it with Swiss customs - but won't have to pay duties if the goods are of greater value than CHF 5K (as they are not supposed to remain in Switzerland).
The same game starts again when you leave Switzerland for Italy and you purchased goods in CH for more than appr. €175.

So, while you will barely notice the border between the three countries and you won't even have to show your passport as all three are part of the Schengen zone, travelling with expensive goods that you purchased on the trip is not totally trivial.

I would do the VAT refund procedure for French and Italian purchases in Rome. Otherwise the French goods would be considered not taxed once entering the EU again.
Swiss VAT refund can obviously not be done in Rome.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
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Jan 13th, 2012, 03:46 PM
  #11
 
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If you spend more on Hermes scarfs and Louis Vuitton bags, you must declare it with Swiss customs - but won't have to pay duties if the goods are of greater value than CHF 5K (as they are not supposed to remain in Switzerland).

... are of LESSER value than CHF 5K...
Cowboy1968 is online now  
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Jan 13th, 2012, 11:53 PM
  #12
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thanks flanneruk. I know what to do now.. and thanks for the replies..
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