Many Sony Alpha products are included in the Sony UK VAT-back scheme which will operate until December 24th. Items purchased from authorised retailers from October 28th onwards may be eligible for a claim, and Sony will return the equivalent of the 17.5% VAT paid to the customer directly.
This is not actually VAT back, as any item purchased in this way is still eligible for normal VAT relief on the nett amount paid, for UK VAT registered buyers (businesses). Customers outside Europe will be able to buy without VAT under the normal rules applying to exports.
On January 4th 2011, UK VAT increases to 20% for consumer goods including all the Sony range.
For details of the VATback offer, see:
Sony point out that the VAT amounts to 14.9% of the price paid, not 17.5% (it is 175/1175).
The offer includes NEX-5, Alpha 580, Alpha 55 and Alpha 33 plus two lenses – the 75-300mm SAL and the 50mm f/1.8 SAM. But you need to be very careful indeed when ordering, as the deal applies only to some very specific packages such as the Body Only for A580, A33 and A55 (if you can find it!) and exact kits such as NEX-5D with 16mm and 18-55mm or NEX-5A with just 16mm. You must check when buying whether the exact product number you are buying qualifies for the VATback.
Buyers internationally can also get similar discounts until December 31st – we note that B&H for example offers this NEX-5 kit with $150 rebate. That’s about the same as the UK VATback deal.