Home Gaming Steam prices are about to rise in the UK, just like here

Steam prices are about to rise in the UK, just like here

1 min read
62

Time to pay the piper

It wasn’t that long back that everyone had a bit of a scare when the government revealed it would be taxing online digital sales from the 1st of April this year. The community went nuts, blamed the ANC for being thieves and quickly stated they wouldn’t be paying it.

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it looks like it is definitely going to happen and we’re not alone with this problem. UK Steam users are currently being charged a much lower VAT rate than they should because Steam is selling it to them via Steam Luxemburg which can offer a variable VAT rate to companies from as low as 3%.

However the UK government has now closed that loophole and from the 1st of January 2015 all online purchases via Steam, and other digital stores, will be charged at the full 20% VAT that the UK requires. That sucks for the Brits but how does it affect us?

Well it clarifies how the online tax will be collected. Basically Steam will register as a local VAT payer and automatically transfer the 14% VAT that South Africa insists on straight back to the government. It won’t be a unique situation for South Africa and Steam will likely have a department dedicated to simply handling online VAT processing. There is no reason for them not to comply and they will be required to show the UK and other large countries that they are collecting and refunding all the VAT taken.

Which means SARS is going to have a nice time just sending over their banking details and raking in the money.

Sorry guys, you are going to have to pay.

Last Updated: March 26, 2014

62 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 26, 2014 at 10:07

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    Reply

    • Jaded_Reprobate

      March 26, 2014 at 10:09

      UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

      Reply

      • Norm the Horrible

        March 26, 2014 at 10:10

        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          March 26, 2014 at 10:11

          !@#$@@#$!@#$@%@#$%#$@%$#^@$%^$%^#$@%^$#@%!$#%^!@$#%^!@$#%^!@$#%^!@$#%^!$@#%^$!@%^#$!%^$#@%^!#@

          Reply

      • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

        March 26, 2014 at 10:11

        NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! 😀

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

          March 26, 2014 at 10:23

          You are mizzzzing a few A’s there

          Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

        March 26, 2014 at 10:11

        You are missing a few UUUUUU’s there

        😛

        Reply

  2. Norm the Horrible

    March 26, 2014 at 10:10

    Steam’s version of the Piper…

    Reply

  3. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 26, 2014 at 10:10

    Still stuck on the specials in any case. 14% on $5 should not be too much

    Reply

    • Jedi JJ

      March 26, 2014 at 10:29

      So instead of games costing us a quarter of console games it’ll now be a third. Woe is me.

      Reply

    • Mark Treloar

      March 26, 2014 at 11:53

      This only works as long as they don’t create a dedicated SA sore on Steam and we still get to buy in dollars. If they change this they may bring prices in line with us falling under the EMEA region. Then it will really hurt.

      Reply

  4. PointMan

    March 26, 2014 at 10:14

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      March 26, 2014 at 10:15

      Piracy isn’t the answer here. Steam still has great prices even if you get a 14% Vat on it

      Reply

      • PointMan

        March 26, 2014 at 10:18

        That is true, I will happily be increasing my backlog through steam sale despite the VAT. What really annoys me, is the fact that the government is charging VAT on products they have no ownership of.

        Reply

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          March 26, 2014 at 10:21

          The main problem is a purchase of a $60 dollar game on steam is now going to cost more than that same game that you purchase from a physical store.

          On the plus side maybe it will increase sales for these physical stores

          Reply

        • DBL_ZA

          March 26, 2014 at 10:22

          In context, I fully agree. The government play zero part in the “import” of digital content into the country. The only area they play a role in is taxing us for our internet subscriptions. But technically there is no physical media that has to go through the system, meaning that in theory it should be above the VAT charge, the same way customs doesn’t charge you for small/cheap items you import.

          Reply

      • DBL_ZA

        March 26, 2014 at 10:18

        I can’t see people actively going to pirate more now because of this, but I’m pretty sure people will hold off a bit more now until the Steam sales for games they want.

        Reply

    • Johan du Preez

      March 26, 2014 at 11:24

      Amen it just means less games purchased and more piracy its simple really. What they are getting close to R600 a PC title ? Then they want to sell you another R400 season pass that comes to what R1000. Battlefield 4 with premium was R1100 on release. Then you get a broken game that you beta test for the next year anyway.

      Piracy is the answer its as simple as that.

      Reply

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 26, 2014 at 10:15

    Bah humbug. Hello backlog my old friend.

    Reply

    • Rince

      March 26, 2014 at 10:22

      We knew you would finally get there… http://replygif.net/i/861.gif

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        March 26, 2014 at 10:32

        I told you two months ago I’m happy having a large games backlog. 😛

        YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME! *sob*

        Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          March 26, 2014 at 10:46

          Sorry what was that?

          Reply

          • Jedi JJ

            March 26, 2014 at 10:58

            Who are you talking to?

          • VampyreSquirrel

            March 26, 2014 at 11:00

            Rince… I think…

          • Jedi JJ

            March 26, 2014 at 11:11

            Oh. The short one. I think.

          • VampyreSquirrel

            March 26, 2014 at 11:40

            I thought he was the short furry footed one… not the short bearded one… I can’t remember.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 26, 2014 at 11:45

            I’m not short, I’m petite-boned!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 26, 2014 at 11:45

            That’s what she said. 😛

          • VampyreSquirrel

            March 26, 2014 at 11:49

            This…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            March 26, 2014 at 11:53

            lol

          • Jedi JJ

            March 26, 2014 at 12:07

            Beard makes up for it.

  6. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    March 26, 2014 at 10:19

    Ok, I am going to be hated for this but here goes:

    I am ok with VAT on MOST of the games on steam. Especially on sales. It won’t increase the price too much.
    Yeah it sucks a bit on full price new release games because now a digital copy will pretty much always be more expensive than purchasing a physical copy (Maybe this can help save brick and mortar shops?)

    Ok, let me rephrase. I would be ok if the government used this tax for actual proper infrastructure upgrades in SA. Why not ring-fence this VAT tax on digital sales and use it for internet infrastructure upgrades. Not the whole internet for all thing but rather quality and capacity part.

    If those VAT amounts could go to bringing down internet prices, increasing overall quality of the networks etc, then I’d be all for it.

    Alas, it will go to luxury cars, planes and “security upgrades”. That’s the part that bums me out 🙁

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 26, 2014 at 10:21

      Indeed, it WILL be abused by muppet government

      Reply

    • DBL_ZA

      March 26, 2014 at 10:24

      Because Nkandla, that’s why. What is common sense to us is just another area for government to take our money for the corrupt politicians

      EDIT: Not sure why I said “corrupt”. Might as well have just said politicians…

      http://dm62zza9c93u.cloudfront.net/styles/overlay_image_1280_or_1024/s3/NKANDLA_1.jpg?itok=LuPB-yYZ

      Reply

      • Norm the Horrible

        March 26, 2014 at 10:25

        Reinforced, Solid Snake proof Chicken runs are not cheap apparently.

        Reply

        • Kromas

          March 26, 2014 at 10:36

          Don’t forget the Olympic sized “Firepool”.

          Reply

      • Jedi JJ

        March 26, 2014 at 10:36

        Luckily they have that Olympic-sized “fire” pool from which they can get buckets of water in case there’s a big fire.

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          March 26, 2014 at 10:37

          and the tuck shop for emergency rations.

          Reply

          • Jedi JJ

            March 26, 2014 at 10:38

            Also very much needed.

    • Rainman

      March 26, 2014 at 10:27

      I have to agree with you. You can not say piracy i bad, but you dont want to pay your taxes. The law is the law.
      Also it does level the playing field (digital vs hard copies).
      Unfortunately your last point is the most valid of all. If only it would be spent properly.

      Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      March 26, 2014 at 10:34

      I’d be perfectly okay with that.

      Reply

    • InsanityFlea

      March 26, 2014 at 10:44

      Everything gets thrown into one account, (fuel levy, taxes, vat, tolls etc etc) all in one big honey pot, yes your fuel levies don’t pay for the roads only. It would be easier to manage and put money aside if there were different accounts imo.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

        March 26, 2014 at 10:45

        Please, they can hardly manage ONE account, can you imagine the fails if they have TWO or MORE?????

        Reply

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        March 26, 2014 at 10:46

        Hence why I said it needs to be ring-fenced. Everything needs to be actually. It’s the main reason corruption is so easy. Because everything is in one place

        Reply

    • Weanerdog

      March 26, 2014 at 13:44

      SARS collect it and then it gets transferred to Treasury. SARS do not specify what they pay and treasury sure as hell couldn’t care as long as it comes in. Then a chunk gets sent off to telkom. It gets through too many hands to keep its identity. What they could do is maybe speculate as to how much is going to be collected via this route and then give this as an extra budget for Telkom to use to better infrastructure, but actually getting them to spend it well is another thing. It is way easier to spend it on a new car or a fire pool.

      Reply

  7. Admiral Chief of Auraxis

    March 26, 2014 at 10:22

    • VampyreSquirrel

      March 26, 2014 at 11:41

      Every time I scroll past I wait for the dough boy to dough himself… is that strange? 😛

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

        March 26, 2014 at 12:04

        Quite

        Reply

  8. Hammersteyn

    March 26, 2014 at 10:27

    Rats!

    Reply

  9. Jedi JJ

    March 26, 2014 at 10:29

    I’ve got an American PayPal account though.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Auraxis

      March 26, 2014 at 10:34

      Indeed, should you purchase through any other channel and have the steam key, surely you can bypass?

      Reply

      • Jedi JJ

        March 26, 2014 at 10:35

        Not sure. I’m really hoping so.

        Reply

      • PointMan

        March 26, 2014 at 10:37

        So something like the Humble Bundles should be able to bypass any VAT.

        Reply

        • Jedi JJ

          March 26, 2014 at 10:39

          I’m guessing they might track your credit card details (if that’s your method of payment) and still charge you the VAT.

          Reply

          • Gavin Mannion

            March 26, 2014 at 12:02

            No I doubt that will happen.. In my understanding it’s the company you purchase from that is responsible to pay the VAT

          • Jedi JJ

            March 26, 2014 at 12:06

            Ah. Okay. That makes more sense. So they then recognize the purchase origin.

  10. JustAnotherGamer

    March 26, 2014 at 11:16

    so more money for Nkandla… fuck that. I’m not paying a cent. steam won’t get my busy anymore i won’t supoprt government or that fat prick zuma.

    Reply

    • Weanerdog

      March 26, 2014 at 13:35

      You do know that you pay vat on everything except like bread, milk and fruit.

      Reply

  11. Jedi JJ

    March 26, 2014 at 11:32

    ANC government.
    Promoting piracy since 2014

    Reply

  12. R1ker

    March 26, 2014 at 12:04

    If we need to pay vat on steam when purchasing – should we then not be charge in Rands instead of $$$.

    Reply

  13. MakeItLegal

    March 26, 2014 at 13:08

    Well , it’s like this , new game purchases will most likely go down , people will wait 2 months or so , when the price drops to a reasonably 400 or 500 a game , I for one don’t see any pc gamers paying more than 500 for a game ( limited editions excluded )

    Part of the reason for pc gaming is , on average cheaper games cause you don’t have to pay sony to play on their consoles ( loyalty fee ) , now if pc game prices keep going up , we Gana have to ask big questions

    My logic ( flawed ) pc game should be 20% lower than consule counter part ( 20% give or take ) if it’s not … Somebody is pigging out

    Reply

  14. Maxiviper117

    March 26, 2014 at 19:31

    BBBBBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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