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In Reply to: RE: "You could try using a VPN but the monthly cost of this will outweigh the saving" posted by Chris from Lafayette on June 22, 2017 at 19:13:07
...unless e.g. he has a USA, German, Netherlands etc. bank account.
I tried the Opera VPN and thank you for this very useful piece of information. It certainly works and I was able to use the USA server to be offered a subscription to Tidal in USD.
However if the OP uses this and (as I expect) enters his UK credit card details then every month his account will be debited with $19.99. And every month his UK bank will charge him a foreign transaction fee thus obliterating any saving he has made (or thereabouts).
Just as a general point there can also be a problem with websites who tailor their offering to the location of the interrogating computer. For example, as a test using the USA VPN, I was unable to see bbc.co.uk as after entering the URL I was automatically transferred to the USA .com version.
> However if the OP uses this and (as I expect) enters his UK credit card details then every month his account will be debited with $19.99. And every month his UK bank will charge him a foreign transaction fee thus obliterating any saving he has made (or thereabouts).
Someone hasn't read the OP's post! He said:
"they know that I live in UK and they only offer me a Sterling rate. This means I can't pay in Euros or Dollars - which would suit me better as I have accounts in these currencies".
So, no transaction charges.
My question was effectively "do Tidal know where I actually live if I subscribe when I'm visiting Europe or US? It seems the answer is Yes, unless I subscribe to a VPN - which I can't be bothered with.
As usual, UK citizens get a poor deal when making purchases from international companies. We should be paying around £16 not £20!
The chances of my making an oversight are high :-)
"As usual, UK citizens get a poor deal when making purchases from international companies. We should be paying around £16 not £20!"
What we should be paying in the UK is 18.86 gbp at the current USD:GBP exchange rate. Why? Because we also have to pay VAT. So it's only a quid difference. Frankly too small for me to get exercised about.
> What we should be paying in the UK is 18.86 gbp at the current USD:GBP exchange rate. Why? Because we also have to pay VAT.
I wonder if VAT is applicable on small purchases from the US where Tidal is based. We can import small value tangible items from HK, US, etc without VAT - I wonder if the same applies to services.
And don't EU citizens also have to pay VAT and US citizens Sales Tax (probably not)? Whichever way you look at it, UK citizens pay appreciably more for streaming services (it's not only Tidal) than others.
Tidal isn't based in the USA. It is Norwegian/Swedish (Aspiro AB), with American owners though.
US sales tax I believe is a state not federal tax. However I am unaware of any state charging 20%, the average EU imposition. Of course I am happy to give way to any better advice. I don't know how the mechanism works for collecting such tax in the USA on internet purchases.
Yes EU citizens also have to pay VAT but the euro/gbp exchange is now too close post the Brexit vote for it make any significant difference in relative values of the subscription given the real exchange rate offered in retail banking(not the interbank rate which is used in most exchange rate calculators on the Web).
As for tax charged upon small items imported into the UK from non-EU states both duty and VAT are payable on goods with a value of over 15 gbp. Does that apply to services? Don't know. It could be argued that an audio streaming service of commerical recordings is actually a form of the supply of goods in any case. It isn't of the same nature as a service such as professional advice or financial management.
In the US we pay state sales tax for any in-state purchase. For out-of-state purchases frequently the tax is not collected and it is up to the buyer to declare these taxes ;) The likelihood of being caught not paying though is nil.
All of the big internet dealers like Amazon (are there any others???) have presence in most states anyway so they have to collect the tax. Smaller retailers do not so you get away without it. This is something the states want to stop of course since they lose tax revenue.
Personal transactions are also supposed to be taxed in-state, but good luck finding someone that actually does that. On eBay you are unlikely to be taxed, even in-state. I bought a fairly expensive bike frame a few years ago online and the shop had both a NY location and one in Ontario. To save on the tax they shipped from Canada. But if they had a NY location and one in Pennsylvania, I'd have to pay. And like with everything else tax related, there are loopholes.
And back to the original question, become a student and get 50% off Tidal. I'm not a student but I have a daughter that is. Guess whose name the account is under?
Thanks. That adds a lot to my knowledge of your tax situation in the USA.
Of course it will be interesting to see what happens when we in the UK exit the EU and leave the customs union. Currently if I buy anything in any EU member state and bring it to the UK I pay the tax in/to the vendor's country and pay nothing here. I suppose that I will have to pay import duty/taxes here and claim back the tax paid in the other country. Fat chance methinks, more likely that the reality will be I will be expected to pay double tax as there are often barriers to reclaiming tax and not all vendors are set up to deal correctly with exports outside the EU as found with a USA resident AA inmate earlier this year who was trying to buy a component from Germany.
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