About to suffer a little more pain than usual in renewing my Microsoft Action Pack subscription (note: don’t expect that link to display correctly in anything other than Microsoft Explorer). This year things have changed. Instead of everyone receiving physical media, we now have the option to download. Good for the environment.
Download users will pay the same pre-tax price as last year (£199) and physical media users will pay more (£273). But then there is VAT. We have different rates across the EU. In the UK the rate is currently 15%.
- If you order physical media, you will pay the VAT for your region. In the UK, 15%.
- If you order a download, you will pay the VAT for Ireland. 21.5%.
This really bugs me (accelerating me to grumpy-old-man status) and I have moaned about it before in relation to Adobe products. There must be some incentive or other good reasons for these companies to locate their online distribution services in Ireland. But they need to realise that they are costing many of their customers more by doing so.
I’m not sure if I should be moaning about the companies choice of country, or VAT and EU regulation in general. Greater minds than mine have argued against the VAT complexity in the past and failed to make any progress. So maybe time to give up, just get the extra 6.5% paid and go hit a punch-bag.