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Steam are paying more tax in ten countries, but it will be up to publishers to increase prices

Is Steam too powerful?

Update February 23, 2017: Yesterday we reported that Steam’s prices will rise across ten countries due to new tax jurisdictions. However, that’s not necessarily the case.

In the email we saw, it showed the percentage increases across each country, but this tax amount will be included in the current prices of the games, meaning it will be the publishers taking a smaller cut, essentially. Of course, publishers could choose to up their prices because of this. 

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“The VAT tax amount will be included in the advertised price of your product, just like VAT is currently treated in the EU,” say Valve. “This means the customer will pay the price displayed on the storefront, and the tax will be separated out afterwards.”

Originally, we interpreted this paragraph as the tax change being reflected on the store, making it easier for the customer to see the new price without worrying about tax charges after. However, it means the take will just be a bigger chunk of the existing price.

Thanks to Josh Bishop, managing director of Brightrock Games, for pointing out this inaccuracy.

Original Story February 22, 2017: Beginning in March, Valve are upping Steam’s prices across ten different countries to comply with new tax jurisdictions regarding sales tax on digital goods and services.

Steam partners were sent an email about the change today, listing the following countries for March 2017:

  • New Zealand – 15%
  • Switzerland – 8%
  • South Korea – 10%
  • Japan – 8%
  • Iceland – 24%
  • South Africa – 14%
  • India – 15%

In April, Serbia will see a 20% rise in prices. Taiwan will get a 5% increase in May. Australia will see a 10% hike in July.

There might be time to panic buy some games in a sale before then, you never know. The extra tax will be included in each game’s price on Steam to make things more readable for buyers.

“We expect to add other individual countries over the course of 2017-2018, depending on applicable law,” said Valve in the email sent to developers, verified by PCGamesN.