Claiming back UK VAT whilst posted in Germany

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by paul2005, Dec 16, 2006.

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  1. 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.
     
  2. I don't think you can as Germany is part of the EU.
     
  3. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    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.
     
  4. Hmm I had similar experience in Sweden, If you buy from a shop with the Tourist ot Tax free shopping Symbol or Sign, they bag and seal your purchase, you then get the VAT back from customs as you leave the country, if the bag is sealed and the contents unused only.

    In modern Britain the only place I have ever seen these signs is in London and that was not recently.

    Amazon will deduct all VAT from purchases sent to BFPO if you email them. Once I emailed them they backdated my previous purchases that went to BFPO too! An unexpected bonus.
     
  5. Get the forms as already mentioned above (any good admin office will have them, or know of them) and complete it in full. On the bottom of the receipt from the shop that you bought the goods from, there should be an address, this is the main office for that retail outlet that will deal with all tax queries. If there isn't an address, then call the shop and ask for it.

    You will then need a letter addressed to the main office signed by an offcier, explaining that the goods have been exported overseas. Attach that and the original receipt to the above said form and post away. Worked for me on several occasions when I was overseas. :D
     
  6. Thanks guys for the info.
     
  7. You can get an introductory letter from your Regimental Accountant / Local Mwst Office to send to the company you wish to buy the items from. If you do it all prior to this then you shouldn't have to pay the VAT in the first place if the company are au fait with the export to BFPO process. It is in SOBA(G)'s or contact your Bde C&I Office.

    Failing that you need a 15(10) (available from all good Regt Acct's, and some rubbish ones too) and you send that to the company that you bought the goods from and they should refund the VAT that you have paid.

    As mention though the goods you are claiming the VAT for must be sent to a German Quarter address or your BFPO address in order for you to claim them, and the goods must be for you or your dependants.

    So for example you cannot get the tax back on an engagement ring your are going to give to your future wife as she is not a dependant (yet).