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Skype Hacks by Andrew Sheppard

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Hack #14. Avoid Falling Foul of the Taxman

Pay the proper Sales and Use taxes and Value Added Taxes (VAT) to avoid the wrath of the taxman. Some people may even qualify to claim back VAT!

Works with: all versions of Skype.

A shockingly large proportion of most regular telephone bills comprise fixed charges and taxes. In my case, before switching to Skype, fixed charges and taxes represented fully 56% of my total bill. Fixed charges seem to guarantee that your telephone company, often a state-run entity or regulated monopoly, will make a profit before you even lift the handset to make a call. At the same time, the taxes on your phone bill have become the means by which government funds new, and wasteful, crackpot schemes. Well, no more.

By switching to Skype, you can easily and legitimately sidestep many of the fixed charges and fees. Also, you can legally avoid many, but alas not all, of the taxes.

Over the years, your regular telephone bill has accumulated quite a few "special" taxes, similar to the way in which barnacles accumulate over time on the hull of a ship. Neither can be said to be particularly advantageous to forward motion. Some of these "special" taxes were introduced long ago as only a "temporary measure" but, surprisingly, are still with us today. You can sidestep these "special" taxes if they are specific to your regular telephone bill and to the regulatory environment within which your telephone company operates.

What you cannot avoid are the "consumption" taxes that ...

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