Why Tax ?

Just to add a minor, but crucial argument:

Assuming that I have to pay Euro 39 for a product advertised for Euro 30 – then the final price includes Euro 9 of VAT, that I have to pay temporarily. I will get them back at the end of the year, when I make my tax declaration – i.e. the Euro 9 will be deduced (subtracted) from the taxes I have to pay.

So, in the end, I will have paid exactly 30 Euro as advertised. Once again: where’s the problem?

Of course, this applies only to professional users of DT. But that’s the majority anyway, I suppose.


Whereas I have been charged tax quite frequently on US shareware applications. I suspect it is a matter of the size of the company handling the payments, Kagi and eSellerate charge, but companies dealing with their own payments may not. It is a legal requirement to charge tax if the company does enough trade with the EU.

As others have noted, sales tax in U.S. is based on where you live, and also, at times on Internet sales, on whether the company has a bricks-and-mortar store in your state. Regardless, few companies around here include sales tax as part of the product price advertised–it is almost always tagged at the end.

Well, Christian lives in the Czech Republic, I live in Germany, but our company HQ is in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA. But physical location does not matter here.

ANY company doing business with customers in the European Union is OBLIGED to open an EU subsidary (or work with a company that does, like Share-It, who have a subsidary in Germany) and charge VAT from all EU customers. The EU VAT regulations are that any EU customer has to pay VAT on every good purchased, regardless whether it comes from inside or ourside the EU.

If smaller US shareware companies don’t do this then this is definitely illegal and only not prosecuted because they’re too small or because the EU tax authorities have to taken notice of it.

Isn’t there a rule that the sales has to be over a certain limit also? I’m not sure and have no reference but I seem to remember that there is a limit when you have to do this — something like $1000 or so.

Not that we are aware of, I am afraid.

I don’t mind either way about tax on software as long as you can see the amount before you press ‘continue’ on payment.

Which you can with DevonT., so you always have the opportunity to not buy.

What I find strange is that as a UK resident, I have a VAT rate of 15%, but today have paid a VAT rate of 19% on Devonthink because it is from a German based selling point.

Devonthink has as American website based in dollars, shows the price in US dollars, I have a UK rate of 15% but get charged 19% because it’s convenient for DT to sell from Germany.

I still think it’s good value, but I can understand why customers might get either confused or angry.

We are selling through an US company named Share-It and they have their European subsidary in Germany. Thence the 19 percent VAT. If we wouldn’t sell through them, we’d have to open our own subsidary in some EU country and so that VAT would apply. As a EU resident you are always charged the VAT of whatever EU country the selling party has chosen to open the subsidary in. If a US company does NOT charge you VAT at all, it’s simply illegal.