I’m just in the middle of purchasing a game online. The way these computer games work is I download their software, pay them for the games and then they send me an activation code. So far so good.
But just before clicking ‘pay’ I noticed that they were charging me VAT (value added tax) which is applicable to UK imports. The reason they know I’m in the UK is that they require an address field to be completed before progressing through the payment process.
My questions are: Why is VAT required for a software download? And how do I know that this extra charge will actually go to the UK government instead of remaining in the coffers of this American company? I will add that I don’t mind paying the VAT - its less than £3 - but I’ve downloaded games in the past and have never come across the requirement to pay VAT before.