Swiss VAT refund for foreign companies

The VAT refund to foreign companies, which are not correctly VAT registered in Switzerland, enables them to facilitate transactions with their Swiss suppliers without having Swiss VAT as a final cost. The so-called VAT refund procedure ensures the refund of input VAT incurred on local expenses acquired in connection with their business.

The VAT refund is available only for those companies from countries with which a reciprocal right declaration is in place. The Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has a list of these countries in German and French under:

https://www.estv.admin.ch/dam/estv/de/dokumente/mwst/formulare/VATrefund/1224_01.pdf.download.pdf/dm_1224_01.pdf

https://www.estv.admin.ch/dam/estv/fr/dokumente/mwst/formulare/VATrefund/1224_01.pdf.download.pdf/dm_1224_01.pdf

The formal requirements for a VAT refund are easily explained and can be checked here:

https://www.estv.admin.ch/estv/en/home/mehrwertsteuer/themen/vat-refund—tax-free/vat-refund.html

The most important requirement for the Swiss VAT refund application is the submission of the official forms provided by the FTA (forms no. 1222 and 1223). In addition, the applicant company must appoint a fiscal representative with domicile in Switzerland.

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