Does anybody happen to know if there is a VAT office (to reclaim VAT) at the Baden Baden train station? I've googled and googled but can't find it. Or if you know a website in English where they list such things including hours. A friend is in Germany, taking train to Switzerland and needs to reclaim VAT before leaving EU. I don't know if every little station has the capability to refund VAT?
I VERY MUCH doubt if there will be a VAT refund office at ANY train station, except perhaps in very large cities. If he's leaving the E.U. from an airport, that would be the place to submit a claim for a VAT refund.
Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, my friend is taking the train from Baden-Baden to Zurich and flying back to US from Zurich. If there isn't a customs officer at B-B or if he can't get off the train and get the stamp at a station along his routing, then I guess he is just out of luck. Lots of people train around and then fly home; seems odd they aren't staffed at the train stations, but you're probably right. Ugh.
Baden Baden is a fairly small rail station, and from what I remember there didn't seem to be a lot of staff there. The station is a short distance from the town of Baden Baden, so your friend will have to take a Taxi to and from the station. If using a rental car, note that vehicle traffic is prohibited in the town except for delivery and service vehicles as well as Taxis.
Regarding VAT refunds, this website may have at least some of the answers you're looking for.....
No taxi required to go to Baden Baden station, it is served by at least two bus lines from the centre of Baden Baden.
Ali, why are you looking for a VAT office in Baden-Baden? You have to get your VAT forms stamped by the customs at the border.
If you are travelling by train from Baden-Baden to Zürich, the border station is Basel Badischer Bahnhof. This station does have a customs office. Click here for a station plan, the customs is shown on the plan, open Monday to Saturday 08:00 to 22:00.
This office is heavily used by the residents of Basel (including me) returning from a shopping trip to Germany by train and re-claiming the VAT.
But, to do this your friend will need to get off the train, go to customs, and then get on a later train to Zürich. Is your friend prepared for this much hassle?
You do get your money back at the border, you only get your forms stamped to prove the goods exited the EU. You then need to send the stamped forms back to the shop and they reclaim the VAT refund you.
I have learned a lot about reclaiming VAT across countries! Thank you all. He's now in Switzerland, so the moment has passed, and I'm waiting to hear what happened. I advised him to go to Baden Baden station early to figure out if he could work the train schedule to get off at a border station (now I know which one, thanks to Chris F.), do the VAT and get back on a train. I don't know if this is what actually happened in the end, or not. I think there was some heavy duty shopping that went on in Germany, thus the impetus for reclaiming the VAT. What a hassle. Note to self: If planning a lot of shopping, then don't take a train out of Germany. Pain in the neck. Thank you all who responded!
Ali, You claim back the VAT (have your forms signed) WHEN YOU EXIT THE EU. Switzerland is not in the EU, so you are leaving the EU via a land border. But, all other countries surrounding Germany are the EU, so you don't claim back at the German border (there is no customs on those borders anyway).
- Taking train from Germany to Paris, then fly out. You exit the EU at Paris airport, get your forms stamped there.
- Fly from Germany to London, spend some time in London and then fly home. Germany to London is an EU-internal flight, no customs. You exit the EU when you fly out from London airport, get your forms stamped there.
I know, but their plans are already set and their itinerary has them taking the train from Baden-Baden to Zurich, spending a few days there and then flying back to US from Zurich. I don't think they are up for changing their flight at this point. But thank you for the post!
"No taxi required to go to Baden Baden station, it is served by at least two bus lines"
I forgot about the Bus lines. I took a Taxi, so that was my dominant thought when I was posting. It dropped me right at the front door of the hotel, which was most convenient.