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I'm a Russian citizen. I've noticed that literally all online EU shops and service providers (e.g. web hosting) add VAT to the price. I've spent some time looking for an article that implicitly states that VAT should be paid by foreign non-EU citizens when shopping or purchasing services online but couldn't find one. What article or articles make this statement?

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None. You need not pay VAT.

But the stores won't bother to configure excluding VAT for customers like you. They'd rather have the same setup for everyone, charge you "VAT" and pocket it (because they don't have to pay it for export sales).

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    It’s illegal to collect and pocket VAT in most jurisdictions - what is probably happening is that they are simply passing it on to the tax body with the rest of the collected VAT, which isn’t illegal. – Moo Mar 7 at 21:01
  • @Moo It is utterly naive to assume that something is not happening just because it is illegal. – Greendrake Mar 8 at 0:14
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    And it’s ludicrous to think that “something illegal must be happening” is the answer to everything. It’s not, however, naive to point out that that thing is illegal. – Moo Mar 8 at 0:37
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    @Greendrake In the UK, if a company charging VAT charges a particular customer VAT, then they must send a bill with a VAT number, and the VAT numbers must be consecutive. So it's difficult to pocket the money. – gnasher729 Mar 8 at 15:59

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