Steam Tax Coming to Ten Countries and More on the Way

cageymaru

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Valve is going to be adding a tax to purchases on it's Steam platform for some countries. In Australia it is a 10% Goods and Services tax, but in others it might be more or less as it depends on locale. This doesn't mean that the price of games will go up though; the publishers and Valve could choose to absorb the tax into the price of the games. If it comes to the USA, I can only imagine Valve trying to figure out every state, town and county's tax code. PC Gamer suggests that it might be related to the "suggested anti-competitive" from the European Commissioner's recent investigation.

  • Switzerland 8%
  • South Korea 10%
  • Japan 8%
  • New Zealand 15%
  • Iceland 24%
  • South Africa 14%
  • India 15%
  • Serbia 20%
  • Taiwan 5%
  • Australia 10%


Steam users who live in other jurisdictions may eventually face the added taxes as well: As reported by PCGamesN, Valve said in the email that "we expect to add other individual countries over the course of 2017-2018, depending on applicable law." As to why Valve is making these changes now, it may be tangentially related to the European Commission's investigation into "suspected anti-competitive practices." That investigation, which also includes Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media, and ZeniMax, is focused on whether the use of region-locked activation keys violates EU rules on "parallel trade," but it may also have convinced Valve to make doubly sure that it's in full compliance with rules across the board.
 

dgz

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None of the countries listed is in the EU, yet its EC's fault somehow. I don't get it.
 

Shmee

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This shouldn't be surprising. The tax free internet has been on its way out for awhile.
 

harmattan

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The sales tax in Iceland is 24% across the board, so they're just applying the standard, albeit ridiculous, tax.

Anyone who's been to Iceland knows it's an absurdly expensive place. Bought a pair of crappy payless-quality boots from the local drugstore because my wife forgot to pack her boots... in Iceland... in February -- $95. 6-pack of Einstok (local beer) - $16.
 
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Quartz-1

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I wonder why Steam are doing this? I wonder if it might be better done by the credit and debit card companies?
 

RanceJustice

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Icelandic sales tax ( and many Scandinavian nations, VAT and the like ) have some exceptions/remittances depending on what you buy and other circumstances including your income. Now there may be some argument regarding Steam, location of which you are purchasing etc... but I'd happy pay a 24% sales tax on certain products if I had cost-free collegiate education, no/minimal health care premiums that actually covered top quality care, lower (proportional) cost healthful foods due to beneficial agriculture subsidy, and other services taxes go toward in Iceland , as well as greater revenue thanks to fewer loopholes for the top 1% to slip out of paying their share. Its also worthwhile that Iceland was one of the only nations that handled the fallout from the recession in 2008 correctly, punishing the corrupt banks and bankers involved beyond a slap on the wrist. 24% seems like a lot, but considering that other areas of taxation are actually lower and the services you receive are much better, that kind of paradigm is beneficial and appreciated by many who reside within.

Edit: My source on this is a friend who's family is involved in farming/production of traditional "Skyr", a unique cultured milk/yogurt.
 
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Zepher

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The sales tax in Iceland is 24% across the board, so they're just applying the standard, albeit ridiculous, tax.

Anyone who's been to Iceland knows it's an absurdly expensive place. Bought a pair of crappy payless-quality boots from the local drugstore because my wife forgot to pack her boots... in Iceland... in February -- $95. 6-pack of Einstok (local beer) - $16.

I am from there, but have only lived there twice, 2 years each time, 86-88 and 89-91.
Most things are twice as expensive compared to the US. In 1987 I got a pair of Nike Pumps for $125 on the Naval Base, off-base in the local stores they sold for almost $300.
Gas was almost $4/gallon when I left in 91, gas here in VA was roughly a buck a gallon.

Healthcare was pretty much free when I was there, cost like $10 to see a specialist, all covered by all the taxes.
 

Yaka

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valve is gonna take a lot of heat for this, but they arent the ones to blame its those countries
 

Ragenrok

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I am from there, but have only lived there twice, 2 years each time, 86-88 and 89-91.
Most things are twice as expensive compared to the US. In 1987 I got a pair of Nike Pumps for $125 on the Naval Base, off-base in the local stores they sold for almost $300.
Gas was almost $4/gallon when I left in 91, gas here in VA was roughly a buck a gallon.

Healthcare was pretty much free when I was there, cost like $10 to see a specialist, all covered by all the taxes.
even with good health care 24% is crazy lol, I pay 5% sale tax in Canada and we don't pay a cent even for a specialist (though it takes 5 months to get a MRI for non-emergency reasons lol). Instead of high sales tax I pay 30% of my check as tax's for half the year then it drops to 20%, but atleast our prices are close to the US after currency conversion, still not as cheap but close
 

SvenBent

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The common sales tax in Denmark is 25%. iceland is another scandinavian country so im not surpriced they are adding in sales tax on this in the 24%
 

Deimos

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NZ changed tax law to collect GST for online sales. Netflix added it on months ago.
 

rezerekted

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This will cost them in sales I expect. I know I will think twice when purchasing future games. There are very few games I want anyway, I have a vast game library and don't really need more games.

There has always been tax on Steam games for Canadians but no one paid it. You are supposed to submit it voluntarily if the merchant doesn't collect the taxes.
 

rezerekted

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even with good health care 24% is crazy lol, I pay 5% sale tax in Canada and we don't pay a cent even for a specialist (though it takes 5 months to get a MRI for non-emergency reasons lol). Instead of high sales tax I pay 30% of my check as tax's for half the year then it drops to 20%, but atleast our prices are close to the US after currency conversion, still not as cheap but close

Most Canadians pay 11%, you must live in Alberta where there is no provincial tax. I heard that might change soon though.
 

vegeta535

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Most Canadians pay 11%, you must live in Alberta where there is no provincial tax. I heard that might change soon though.
A friend that came to visit me from Ontario a couple years ago was amazed how cheap our gas was and our 6% sales tax. She said she paid 13% up there. I almost fell on my face when she told me her new base model VW Jetta was $30k and think she got a deal on it. Got to love socialism eh?
 

Cobalt35

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If companies absorb this I'll buy a hat and eat it. Heck, I'll buy two hats and eat themboth.
 

endalykt

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So a game that cost 5 cookies now costs 6.2 cookies (with Nordic 24 % VAT)?

/trembles in fear
 

MrAhlefeld

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The common sales tax in Denmark is 25%. iceland is another scandinavian country so im not surpriced they are adding in sales tax on this in the 24%

Correct, but it's still sad to see this cause as it is now thee price for steam games is allready higher for us in DK (and probably the rest of europe) since we pay in Euro's and they add to the cost some how.. check it out your self, can be done with a VPN to the US.
Greetings from another Dane
 

SvenBent

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Correct, but it's still sad to see this cause as it is now thee price for steam games is allready higher for us in DK (and probably the rest of europe) since we pay in Euro's and they add to the cost some how.. check it out your self, can be done with a VPN to the US.
Greetings from another Dane

yeah it is not nice getting double penalised due to the high value of euro. on the other hand i don't support not paying your taxes in a country you sell your product to either.
oh and I don't need VPN... i live in texas :D. I do however miss my danish standup comedy shows.
 

tetris42

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Icelandic sales tax ( and many Scandinavian nations, VAT and the like ) have some exceptions/remittances depending on what you buy and other circumstances including your income. Now there may be some argument regarding Steam, location of which you are purchasing etc... but I'd happy pay a 24% sales tax on certain products if I had cost-free collegiate education, no/minimal health care premiums that actually covered top quality care, lower (proportional) cost healthful foods due to beneficial agriculture subsidy, and other services taxes go toward in Iceland , as well as greater revenue thanks to fewer loopholes for the top 1% to slip out of paying their share. Its also worthwhile that Iceland was one of the only nations that handled the fallout from the recession in 2008 correctly, punishing the corrupt banks and bankers involved beyond a slap on the wrist. 24% seems like a lot, but considering that other areas of taxation are actually lower and the services you receive are much better, that kind of paradigm is beneficial and appreciated by many who reside within.

Edit: My source on this is a friend who's family is involved in farming/production of traditional "Skyr", a unique cultured milk/yogurt.
Based on our modern politics, I think you'd be surprised how many Americans will fight everything you've described at all costs.
 

Meaker

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20% here in the UK and we have been paying it since 2014 on steam.

Then again if we get ill we can go to the hospital without worrying that it will financially ruin us.
 

M76

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None of the countries listed is in the EU, yet its EC's fault somehow. I don't get it.
The rule is simple: Can you blame someone? Then you don't need to take responsibility.
Do you think after brexit the UK will stop blaming the EU? Of course not, they'll do it even more openly.
I'm very familiar with this mentality from the soviet block. Between 1950 and 1989 everything was the "damn west's fault!"
 

NeoNemesis

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A friend that came to visit me from Ontario a couple years ago was amazed how cheap our gas was and our 6% sales tax. She said she paid 13% up there. I almost fell on my face when she told me her new base model VW Jetta was $30k and think she got a deal on it. Got to love socialism eh?

Gas prices in Alberta are within 10 cents of Ontario. The only reason Alberta doesn't have PST is because of oil, and that ship has sailed. Wouldn't be surprised to see PST pop up in the next year or two.
 

dgz

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The rule is simple: Can you blame someone? Then you don't need to take responsibility.
Do you think after brexit the UK will stop blaming the EU? Of course not, they'll do it even more openly.
I'm very familiar with this mentality from the soviet block. Between 1950 and 1989 everything was the "damn west's fault!"

How about the endless WW2 drama series. Never forget
 

Hellstoaster

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A friend that came to visit me from Ontario a couple years ago was amazed how cheap our gas was and our 6% sales tax. She said she paid 13% up there. I almost fell on my face when she told me her new base model VW Jetta was $30k and think she got a deal on it. Got to love socialism eh?

Except it has nothing to do with socialism. Sales tax is almost 10% in a lot of places in Tennessee and they're about as far from socialism as you can get.
 

Aireoth

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Yea, Alberta is subsidized by them oil dollars.

Yep so is Canada, no matter how many puff pieces the CBC puts out saying Alberta's oil is not the reason they pay transfer payments.

Gotta love the push to keep the rest of Canada oil guilt free while happily taking the money.
 

Burticus

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24% tax in Iceland. Wow. But I wonder what the local sales tax is, if the Steam tax is correlated to that.
 
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