How To Avoid Steam Tax : Guide (2023)


In the world of digital gaming, Steam has become a household name. With its vast library of games and convenient platform, it has revolutionized the way gamers purchase and play their favorite titles. However, one aspect that often catches gamers by surprise is the inclusion of sales tax on their purchases. While sales tax is a legal obligation in many regions, there are ways for savvy gamers to avoid or minimize the impact of these additional charges. In this article, we will explore various methods to avoid paying sales tax on Steam and provide you with a comprehensive guide to make your gaming experience more affordable.

Understanding Sales Tax:

Before delving into the methods of tax avoidance, it is essential to understand what sales tax entails. A sales tax is a consumption tax imposed by governmental authorities on the sale of goods and services. It is typically a percentage of the purchase price and varies depending on the jurisdiction. The purpose of sales tax is to generate revenue for the government and fund public services and infrastructure. However, for gamers, these additional charges can significantly impact the overall cost of their gaming purchases.

The Impact of Sales Tax on Consumers:

The inclusion of sales tax on Steam purchases can lead to higher prices, affecting both casual and avid gamers alike. For those on a tight budget, the added cost of sales tax can limit their ability to enjoy new releases or expand their game library. Additionally, the variation in sales tax rates across different regions can result in disparities in pricing, making certain games more expensive depending on where you live. This disparity has led many gamers to seek ways to circumvent or mitigate the impact of sales tax on Steam.

Steam’s Approach to Sales Tax:

Steam, as a digital distribution platform, is required to adhere to tax regulations in various jurisdictions. This means that if you reside in a region where sales tax is applicable, Steam is obligated to collect and remit the tax on your purchases. The specific tax rate applied depends on your location and local tax laws. While Steam complies with these regulations, there are still legitimate ways to avoid or minimize the impact of sales tax when purchasing games. For more understanding, visit this article to get more insight into it.

Benefits of Avoiding Sales Tax on Steam:

Avoiding sales tax on your Steam purchases can offer several advantages. Firstly, it allows you to save money by paying the base price of a game without any additional tax charges. This can be particularly beneficial when purchasing expensive games or during seasonal sales events where you may make multiple purchases. Secondly, by avoiding sales tax, you can potentially afford more games within your gaming budget, expanding your gaming library and enhancing your overall gaming experience.

Methods to Avoid Sales Tax on Steam:

Gift Cards and Wallet Funds

One popular method to avoid sales tax on Steam is by utilizing gift cards and wallet funds. Instead of making direct purchases using your credit card or PayPal, you can buy Steam gift cards from retailers or authorized online platforms. By redeeming these gift cards and adding the funds to your Steam wallet, you can bypass the sales tax since the tax is usually calculated at the time of purchase rather than during the redemption of funds.

Regional Pricing

Another effective way to minimize the impact of sales tax on Steam is by leveraging regional pricing. Steam employs a pricing strategy that takes into account the purchasing power and economic conditions of different regions. This results in varied pricing for the same game in different countries or regions. By changing your Steam account’s region to a location with lower or no sales tax, you can take advantage of more favorable pricing and reduce the overall cost of your game purchases.

Using a VPN

Using a virtual private network (VPN) is a more advanced method to potentially avoid sales tax on Steam. A VPN allows you to mask your actual location and connect to servers in different regions, thereby altering your virtual presence. By connecting to a server in a region with no sales tax on Steam purchases, you may be able to make purchases without incurring additional charges. However, it is important to note that using a VPN for this purpose may violate Steam’s terms of service, so proceed with caution and understand the potential risks involved.

How to Avoid Paying Taxes On Steam By Using A VPN:

The use of a VPN can be an effective strategy to avoid paying taxes on Steam purchases. By following these steps, you can potentially bypass sales tax:

  • Research and select a reliable VPN service: Look for a VPN provider that offers a wide range of server locations and robust privacy features.
  • Install and set up the VPN: Follow the instructions provided by your chosen VPN service to install and configure the VPN software on your device.
  • Connect to a server in a region with no sales tax: Once your VPN is set up, choose a server location where Steam does not impose sales tax on purchases.
  • Launch Steam and make your purchases: With the VPN connected to the desired region, access Steam and proceed to make your game purchases as usual.

It is important to note that while using a VPN may help you avoid sales tax, it may also violate Steam’s terms of service. Make sure to understand the potential consequences and risks involved before utilizing this method.

Why is Steam Charging Tax?

Steam’s decision to charge sales tax on purchases is primarily driven by legal and regulatory requirements. As a digital distribution platform, Steam must comply with the tax laws and regulations of various countries and regions. Failure to collect and remit sales tax would result in legal complications and potential financial penalties for both Steam and its users. Therefore, the inclusion of sales tax is a necessary step to ensure compliance with tax obligations imposed by the respective jurisdictions.

What Country Has No Steam Tax?

While the presence of sales tax on Steam is prevalent in many countries, there are certain regions where Steam does not impose sales tax. The specific countries or regions without Steam tax may vary over time due to changes in tax laws and regulations. It is recommended to conduct thorough research or consult official sources to determine the current list of regions without Steam tax.

How Do I Change My Steam Tax Region?

Changing your Steam tax region can be done through the following steps:

  • Open the Steam client and log in to your account.
  • Go to the “Account Details” section.
  • Under the “Store and Purchase History” category, click on “Update store country.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to change your store country or region.
  • After successfully changing your store country, you may need to provide a payment method associated with the new region or clear any existing funds in your Steam wallet.

It is important to note that changing your Steam tax region may have implications beyond sales tax, such as availability of certain games or access to localized content. Make sure to consider all factors and consequences before making any changes to your account.


Sales tax on Steam purchases can be a burden for gamers looking to enjoy their favorite titles without breaking the bank. However, by employing various methods such as utilizing gift cards and wallet funds, leveraging regional pricing, or using a VPN, you can navigate around sales tax and make your gaming experience more affordable. It is important to understand the legal and ethical considerations of each method and choose the one that best aligns with your circumstances and risk tolerance. Remember to stay informed about any changes in tax regulations and always prioritize compliance with the terms of service set by Steam.


Q1: Can I get in trouble for using a VPN to avoid sales tax on Steam?

Using a VPN to avoid sales tax on Steam may potentially violate Steam’s terms of service. While it is unlikely to lead to legal consequences, there is a risk of account suspension or termination. Proceed with caution and understand the potential risks involved before utilizing a VPN for this purpose.

Q2: Are there any legal methods to avoid paying sales tax on Steam?

Yes, there are legal methods to avoid or minimize the impact of sales tax on Steam, such as utilizing gift cards and wallet funds or taking advantage of regional pricing. It is important to comply with the terms of service set by Steam and the applicable tax laws in your region.

Q3: Does Steam charge sales tax on all purchases?

Steam charges sales tax on purchases made in regions where sales tax is applicable. The specific tax rate and the inclusion of sales tax depend on your location and the local tax laws of that region.

Q4: Can I change my Steam tax region multiple times?

While it is possible to change your Steam tax region, there may be limitations or restrictions on how frequently you can make changes. Ensure that you understand the implications and requirements associated with changing your store country before proceeding.

Q5: Are there any risks associated with using a VPN for Steam?

Using a VPN for Steam may pose certain risks, such as potential violation of Steam’s terms of service or reduced access to localized content. Additionally, VPN usage may impact your network speed and overall gaming experience. Consider these factors and conduct thorough research before utilizing a VPN for Steam.

Benjamin Anderson

I am a distinguished sales tax expert named Benjamin Anderson. I have Bachelor's degree in Accounting. Throughout my career, I have acquired extensive expertise and built a remarkable track record in the field.

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