Switzerland VAT refund

Old Apr 25th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Switzerland VAT refund

After searching this and some other websites:

I will have to spend at least 400 Sfr to be qualified for a refund. As being on a tour I will not have hotels/trains receipts the only things I will be able to get the refund on will be restaurants and shopping, is that correct?

I will HAVE to get a stamp in the airport, otherwise forget it, is that right? Also I will have to have the goods with me, not in the checked-in luggage. Does it mean restaurant receipts will be uselless?

What about people who make their own hotel reservations, what goods do they show in the airport?

Another thing: in some countries you have to spend minimum amount AT ONE PLACE so it will show up on one receipt. Do I have to have one receipt for $400 Sfr?

All this is so confusing the first time! Coming from Canada (Toronto airport) I didn't stamp anything, mailed the form from home, and 2-3 months later got a check in US dollars!
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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I thought VAT is only for things you buy, that you will take home with you, like an expensive piece of jewelry or art or whatever.

Are you sure it also applies to hotels, transportation, restaurant meals?
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Faina:

VAT refunds apply only to goods you take out of the country, *not* on goods and services you consume locally. So there is NO refund on transportation, hotel or restaurant bills and no refund on food you eat while in Switzerland.

Remember that the general VAT rate is 7.6%, the rate on food (and restaurant meals) 2.4%. This gives you a refund of CHF 30.40 per 400 Francs of jewelry and CHF 9.60 for 400 Francs' worth of chocolate or cheese ;-) . A service fee is will be charged for every transaction.

Enjoy your trip.

Phil
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Faina, in my understanding you got it wrong. Tour or individual, you get no tax refund with hotel bills and restaurants. You get refund with only the things you can take out of the country (anywhere, not only in CH.). Obviously hotel and restaurant services are the things you "consume" in the country. So one thing not to worry about for you either you are going on a tour or on your own.
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 02:26 PM
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Sorry, I repeated what Phil already stated.
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 02:28 PM
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Wow! Learn something new every day! I am sure I got a refund on hotel tax after visiting Canada. Better VAT laws, eh?

I think, but not 100% sure I saw hotels mentioned on some website.

How many kilos of cheese one should buy to get a refund I just picture myself with all the cheeses hanging on my neck on a rope running through all these cheese holes! And a cow bell on another rope. Anyone has a neck to spare?

Oh, why do I even bother
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Oh, I re-read the website:

http://www.traveltax.msu.edu/vat/vat.htm

it's only business travelers who can claim VAT refund on hotels and such.

That's it. As Lindt is sold widely in San Francisco, I am stuck with cheese.

(at least I found where to use another emoticon!)
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 09:01 PM
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Faina,

You are not wrong about getting a refund on VAT for Canadian hotels! You ARE able to get the hotel VAT refunded along with purchases (I think the item must have been at least $50).

We received the VAT refund for Canadian hotels last summer. It was very easy and fairly quick, too!
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 12:20 AM
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There's no VAT in Canada.

Canada has a tax called GST. This may look similar to the uniniated, but VAT has an underlying logic that's quite different from GST or American sales taxes.

The logic of VAT was predictably developed by French enarques: those graduates of an educational system that teaches a great deal of French philosophy, zero common sense and a highly developed conviction of personal superiority for reasons incomprehensible to those of us fortunate enough to have been properly educated.

The logic of VAT is supposed to decree that refunds can be given only for goods taken out of the country, or for services incurred by a VAT-registered company. This principle seems to be consistent in all countries that charge VAT, as opposed to the ideologically deviant GST that those French enarques would regard as typical Anglo-Saxon intellectual woolliness.

Or that an Anglo-Saxon would regard as common sense.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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Whatever it called, it was simple to get refunded. Doesn't look so in Switzerland. Oh, well, this is not why I am going there. Just one less thing to worry about - no need to save receipts and "deliver the goods".
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Sorry, Flanner, you are wrong. The Canadian GST is a value-added tax. It replaced a manufacturing sales tax that was seen as discriminatory to Canadian manufactured products versus imported products. The provincial sales taxes, like the US state sales taxes, are not VATs.
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