Australians may face 10% tax on Steam transactions

2K Steam sale

The Australian government may introduce a 10% GST tax on 'intangible' digital goods in next week's budget, meaning Steam prices could be on the rise. According to a report by Fairfax, the so called "Netflix tax" will affect imported digital goods including software, music and videos.

The new tax, spearheaded by Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, has attracted nearly unanimous support by state treasurers, according to Fairfax's report. It appears to have the support of the opposition, too: Labor's treasury spokesperson Chris Bowen last week criticised the government for its failure to introduce measures to protect Australia-based retailers.

The problem for PC owners, of course, is that there's no comparable Aussie digital storefront for games. It also raises interesting questions about how the tax will be applied: Steam doesn't currently display Australian currency prices, despite reports early last year that it would be introduced.

It's sure to cause a stir, though: Australians already suffer the dreaded "Australia tax", with digital software costing considerably more than in other regions despite the lack of physical distribution overheads.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.