Sony takes on the tax-man with VAT Back scheme

Sony has entered into the festive spirit (we know, it's only October) by announcing its VAT Back scheme in the UK.

It's a fairly straight forward deal - you go in to the shop, you buy some Sony products, you get your VAT back from Sony. Easy peasy.

The scheme kicks off on 28 October and runs until Christmas Eve. There are loads of shops on board including John Lewis, Tesco Extra, M&S Home, Jessops, PC World, Amazon, Comet, Currys, Argos and Sony Centres.

Andy Benson, commercial director at Sony UK said: "Next year is likely to be a tough time for everyone, and with Christmas around the corner, getting the ‘VAT Back’ will hopefully make the difference for anyone in two minds about whether to make that extra special purchase for the family or as a  Christmas gift."

Basically, you'll get back 14.89 per cent of the price you pay. We know what you're thinking - that VAT is 17.5 per cent - but that percentage is made up of the net price (ex-VAT price), so the discount actually makes up 14.89 per cent of the gross price, after the VAT has been added. Er...

Let's give you a concrete example to make it a bit clearer. You waddle into Comet and you're struck by the sheer beauty of the Sony KDL 40-inch 3D LED TV. You can't resist it. After all, you've got Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs still sitting in its box at home, with no suitable device to watch it on. So, you part with your £1169.99.

Under the VAT Back scheme you'd get back £174.21, which is the original 17.5 per cent VAT that was added to the net price (but 14.89 per cent of the overall price). Confusing, but a bargain, we're sure you'd agree.

As mentioned, the promotion is due to run from 28 October to 24 December and cash back must be claimed before 31 January 2011.