If you visit Switzerland, you should know its VAT (local version of GST) and don’t forget to get tax refund.
The VAT (value added tax) rate in Switzerland is 8.0%. VAT is already included in the purchase price. Singapore travellers (as long as you are not residing in Switzerland) can claim a VAT refund if you have purchased goods to the value of at least CHF 300.00 per day and vendor. The purchased goods must be taken out of the country within 30 days, and must be displayed to the Swiss customs officials upon departure.
1. Shopping in Switzerland
Look for stores displaying Global Blue Tax Free Shopping signage in the window. When paying for your purchases ask the shop staff for a Tax Free Form. Tax Free Forms are available in two versions, one blue, and one white. Fill in all the required fields in block letters, using the Latin alphabet.
2. Get Stamp on Forms at Airport
At the airport please allow enough time for the refund process before your flight departs.
Before you check in for your flight, go to the Customs desk and present your completed Tax Free Form, passport, receipts/invoices and purchases to get a stamp on your form.
Don’t pack away goods in your check-in luggage as you will need to show them to the Customs Officer.
Go to a Refund counter displaying the Global Blue logo.
3. Receive Refund
Present your stamped and completed Tax Free Forms to receive the refund in cash or to credit card.
In a rush? Mail your stamped completed Tax Free Forms to the address of the Processing Centre and receive your refund on your credit card.
Please observe that at some refund points in France, UK and Switzerland an additional fixed fee per ‘Tax Free Form’ may be charged should you require an immediate Refund in cash.
NB: The refund you receive is the VAT minus Global Blue’s handling fee.
Many businesses situated in the transit area calculate their prices on a net basis, i.e. VAT is not included, insofar as the requirements of customs are fulfilled. These specify that people who reside permanently outside Switzerland and spend a minimum of CHF 300.- per day per vendor are entitled to claim a VAT refund.
A number of businesses offering this service display a logo to this effect at the entrance to their premises. Shop staff will be happy to inform you about the possibility of claiming a VAT refund directly. The prices stated by businesses where VAT is charged always include VAT. It is therefore advisable to consult the sales staff before making your purchase.