I know how it is. You have this addiction that you just can’t shake right? We all love shopping on Amazon and for some things it really is a life saver over here in Europe. The only issue is waiting for you packages to arrive via APO. Bummer dude. The good news is that you can shop on Amazon.de for almost all of the same things (sometimes even a little more) and still use your VAT forms to shop tax free!
I know what you are thinking, why shop on Amazon.de when you can shop in USD on Amazon.com? Well the answer is sometimes those things you buy can be even cheaper if you purchase them on Amazon.de and use a VAT form. For example, I was recently looking at new Nikon DSLR cameras. When I compare the average price on Amazon.com which ran around $2000.00 to the price on Amazon.de which is approximately 1500 EUR. If you take the tax out of that 1500 EUR you are down to 1319 EUR. Even converting that back into USD I still save a few hundred dollars! Another plus to ordering from Amazon.de is that you can order directly to your German residence and take advantage of all that speedy delivery you knew and loved back home.
So how do you go about getting your tax money back from Amazon.de? They make it very simple for you. Once you order and receive your item with take the ORIGINAL receipt you find in the box and mail it back to Amazon along with a completed VAT form. Once they receive the form they will refund the tax amount back to your account and send you your stamped and completed pages of the VAT form. It really can’t be any more simple than that. You don’t need to send anything else. Just your original receipt and the VAT form. I have added the address below for easy reference. I have also linked the Amazon.de page with all the pertinent information.
VAT Form Program Address
Im Gewerbepark D 55
Thanks for the heads up! I have been looking for something like this for a while. How long does it take for them to return your money?
I’m stationed over in the Netherlands. Does any one know how Amazon.de handles this for us? I have already purchased a couple of the German VAT forms at the Schinnen VAT office, but am not sure if I have a package delivered in the Netherlands if Amazon will accept it. Anyone with personal experience who can answer it would be greatly appreciated.
I think they will accept it as long as you have the original receipt and a valid German VAT form.
This post need an update. Amazon will no longer refund VAT for items shipped to a german address. This is according to the amazon help page you link to:
“Please note that this does not apply to delivery addresses within Germany “
The Amazon link is a little confusing. It says “Please note that this does not apply to delivery addresses within Germany or for members of German troops.” Does that mean I have to have the items shipped from Amazon.de to my APO address? If so, that’s a bit counterintuitive.
Yes, they will only utilize your VAT form if you had it shipped to your APO. So you will not be able to purchase large products, such as TVs, couches, beds, mattresses, etc. off amazon.de and be able to submit a form. There is very little that actually is applicable for the VAT form on Amazon. This is as far as I am tracking.
Amazon.de needs to update their policies on accepting VAT forms from US Forces. My documents were returned due to billing address did not match shipping address. In addition, I was told that I cannot ship items to my German address. The ironic thing is most items on amazon.de won’t ship to an APO box.
Where to get the tax form?
and Is it necessary that the name of the receiver must be the same with the one who claim the vat? Becoz it sent to Eu resident.
Just had a Q&A session with them. The VAT form (from US military in Germany) allows tax-free purchases up to $2500 within Germany only for US ID card holders. Amazon will refund the tax once you send them the VAT form and the receipts you get with the delivery of the merchandise. One caveat is that the orders must be fulfilled by Amazon.de and not by partner traders. Also, they don’t expect that your delivery address must match your billing address. It’s quite evident it shouldn’t.
Definitely would like an update to this. There’s no receipt in the box is the first thing.
So, I’ve tried this. I’ve had items shipped to the street address and other items mailed to my APO address. I sent them a completed vat form about three months ago along with a letter. No response as yet.
I’m also s bit confused about the shipping address part. I’m trying to buy a tablet (many of which can’t be shipped to an APO by Amazon.Com anyway) but it seems i have to have it sent to my German address because Amazon.de doesn’t send to APO addresses either.
So if i order from Amazon.de and have it sent to my German address, I CAN’T get the VAT back… Is that right?