Anybody know how to claim back VAT on items bought in UK whilst posted in Germany. I know its possible (i.e. Amazon refund after an email requesting refund) but what about buying over the counter.
ViroBono said:There is a particular form which you should be able to obtain from your admin office (or whoever administers Abwicklungschien for MwSt purchases).
The difference between the Abwicklungschein and the UK VAT form is that you don't need to identify the supplier first. You take the form with you and present it to the supplier, who completes it and attaches it to his VAT return.
I've used these before but found acceptance difficult. The problem is that most suppliers who don't already supply tax-free to BFPO have never seen or heard of them, so they are sceptical. Secondly, the goods have to be exported to your BFPO address, and this must be provable to HMCR by way of a couriers waybill or similar, so you usually can't rock up and take goods away.
You can also get similar forms for other EU countries - I bought VAT free in Holland on many occasions.