Home » Fight for customers – Italy makes Ticino shops sweat with VAT – News

Fight for customers – Italy makes Ticino shops sweat with VAT – News

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Fight for customers – Italy makes Ticino shops sweat with VAT – News


The Meloni government lowers the threshold for VAT refunds. The measure is causing great concern in Ticino.

Author: Karoline Thürkauf

To Ticino for the weekend and why not quickly cross the border to Italy to do some shopping? Since February 1st, anyone who buys clothes or shoes in Como or Varese, for example, can have their VAT refunded for as little as 70 euros.

Caption: The Meloni government lowers the threshold for a VAT refund from 150 to 70 euros. In doing so, she wants to make the “Bel Paese” more attractive for shopping tourism. Keystone/AP/ANDREW MEDICHINI

Lucia Arengi is the owner of a small fashion boutique in the pedestrian zone of the border town of Chiasso. She sees it as black: “We, at least I, are very worried. People already do a lot of shopping abroad or online. You don’t have much time to stroll around and do some shopping. The lower Italian VAT will make the situation even worse.”

VAT is another domino in our decline.

Shop owner Alessandra Faroppa’s future prospects are equally bleak. “It’s not just this lower VAT. The strong franc also makes shopping in Italy, which is close to the border, so attractive. This VAT is another domino in our downfall.”

Shop owners who have a small but loyal clientele because they occupy a niche are less pessimistic. For example, Jacopo Bruno, who runs a cigar shop. «For us, demand exceeds supply. Since the Corona crisis there has been a massive shortage of raw materials. So we now have a small advantage in this tax-free thing.”

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Hoping for Federal Bern

Davide Rampoldi, President of the Mendrisiotto trading company, does not speak of advantages, on the contrary, of major challenges: “We here at the border can actually only lose the battle for customers under these conditions.”

In this hopeless situation, Rampoldi turns to the Federal Government of Bern for help. The federal government should help the border regions in their fight. A consultation on the value exemption limit is currently underway. The federal government wants to tax purchases abroad more heavily when they are imported into Switzerland. Specifically, the value-free limit is to be halved from 300 to 150 francs, thereby encouraging domestic purchases. Or: Shopping abroad should be made less attractive.

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