Myke, I don't know the answer to your question, but for example here in the Netherlands, and I guess it's the same in other countries, you always have to pay VAT, but if a company pays, they can deduct the VAT.
If you're paying for the exam as a private person, then you most likely cannot deduct the VAT. If you want to be sure, call Oracle Education in your country and ask them.
After trying various locations on PearsonVUE site I found out that in some countries the cost of the exam is only $150 and there is no need to pay VAT. The countries are: Russia, Belarus, India. It's very likely there a quite a few more, but I did not check further.
I live in Latvia, the cost of the exam here is $300+$63 vat and I plan to go to Minsk,Belarus to take exam there. Of course- I will need to pay for visa and transportation, but it's still way cheaper.
Myke, in what country do you live? Maybe the exam in neighbor country is cheaper?
No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
SKIP - a book about connecting industrious people with elderly land owners