Is There VAT on Computer Software?

Tyler Yates

In the world of business, it’s essential to understand the tax implications of your purchases. One common question that often arises is whether or not there is VAT on computer software. The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as you might think, so let’s dive deeper into the topic.

What is VAT?

Before we proceed to answer the question, let’s first understand what VAT means. VAT stands for Value Added Tax, a tax that is added to goods and services at each step of their production or distribution. It is a consumption tax that is ultimately paid by the end consumer.

Is there VAT on computer software?

Now coming back to our main question, the answer is – it depends on various factors. In some cases, computer software may be subject to VAT, while in others, it may not be.

Factors determining VAT on computer software

Here are some factors that determine whether or not there will be VAT on computer software:

  • The type of software
  • The way it’s delivered
  • The country of purchase
  • The intended use of the software

Type of Software: The type of software plays a significant role in determining whether or not it will be subject to VAT. For instance, if the software is considered a standard application like Microsoft Office Suite or Adobe Creative Cloud and can be used by anyone regardless of their industry or profession, it will most likely attract VAT.

Way It’s Delivered: The method used to deliver the software can also determine whether or not it attracts VAT. If the software is delivered physically through CDs or DVDs, then it may attract VAT because physical goods are typically subject to this tax. However, if it’s delivered electronically through downloads from websites like Amazon or Apple, then it may not attract VAT.

Country of Purchase: The country where the software is purchased can also determine whether or not it attracts VAT. In some countries, computer software is considered a taxable commodity, while in others, it’s not. Therefore, it’s essential to check the tax laws of the country where you intend to buy the software.

Intended Use of Software: The intended use of the software can also determine whether or not it attracts VAT. If the software is intended for business use, then it may attract VAT because businesses are typically considered taxable entities. On the other hand, if it’s intended for personal use only, then it may not attract VAT.


In conclusion, whether or not computer software attracts VAT depends on various factors like its type, delivery method, country of purchase and intended use. Therefore, before purchasing any software or providing a service related to computer software, make sure you understand all relevant tax laws to avoid any surprises down the line.