Vat for customers buying from websites based overseas may bump up the price of goods – but this shouldn't be a problem for downloads
I wanted to buy System Mechanic, which had been on offer at the special price of $24.95 (£18.55). However, when I tried to order it from the company’s website the total came to the equivalent of £28.55.
Iolo said: “The cost of System Mechanic should be exactly the same in the US and the UK, which has been doubled-checked with our customer-care agents.
“They have suggested that perhaps the reader is accidentally selecting to have the CD shipped to them in addition to receiving the online download, If this is the case there would be an additional $15 if they are located internationally.”
We passed this message on to Mr Wallace and asked if he had mistakenly been trying to order the CD as well as the download but he said he had only wanted the download. We told him that if he wanted to go ahead with the purchase and continued to have problems with the price to let us know.
However, although Iolo is not charging more for this download, prices for the same software sold by some companies can vary considerably from country to country. This is because of different tax laws and systems.
For example, a US company selling to customers in the UK may have to add Vat to an order and the customer then pays customs duty once the item is delivered, pushing the price up.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has a very useful explanation of the possible taxes the UK consumer faces when buying from abroad and then importing the goods into the country.
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