> I recently bought a digital camera from the US on mail
> order and got
> clobbered with paying the Sales Tax which is VAT called something
If you had it shipped directly to you in the UK, I don't believe they should
have collected sales tax. Sales tax is collected by the states, and they do
not have the power to tax interstate or (I believe) international commerce.
For example, I bought my camera from B&H in New York, tax-free since it was
shipped to California.
However, the tax is based on where the sale takes place, rather than where
you live. If you had it shipped to an address within the state (or any
state where the company has a business license), then the sale is considered
to have happened within that state, and sales tax is due.