Spring Budget 2017 – VAT on Mobile Roaming – travellers outside of the EU be aware
Spring Budget March 2017: Business mobile users who regularly make calls and harness other aspects of their handset’s features while overseas may soon need to pay significantly more for the privilege. The Chancellor confirmed that VAT will now be charged on mobile roaming, which could make an already expensive process even more costly.
Thankfully this fee hike, which is described as being in keeping with similar policies that are in place in other countries, will not apply when roaming within other EU nations. This is because of regulations that have already reduced and will soon entirely eliminate roaming fees for mobile users throughout all EU states.
There is still uncertainty about whether or not this cost-saving policy will remain in place once the UK leaves the EU, although some experts have argued that it will need to be sustained in order to ensure that British network providers remain competitive and to prevent tourists from being penalised.
Getting around roaming charges, especially outside of the EU where they can become particularly extortionate compared with standard domestic rates, is simple enough so long as mobile users are willing to either leave their devices at home or switch to a new SIM card that is linked to a network in the country they are visiting. This is not necessarily an ideal solution for everyone and there will still be critics of the decision to add VAT on top of this, so it will pay for British users to keep aware of these changes when they travel.
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