Ebay charges tax?

celwin

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It's been awhile since I sold anything on Ebay. When did they adding sales tax to items bought by private parties (not store fronts)?
 

cjcox

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You're liable for sales tax. In fact, you're liable for all back sales taxes, even for when you "believed" there was no tax. What made that time special, was not knowing which state (Internet didn't really define).

When I sold things on ebay years ago, and the sale was in state, I had to charge them sales tax (and report, etc.). But I'll admit, "the Internet" allowed you to "skip" (note, taxation is non-skippable) tax across states, just like everyone else.

I figure when we're all 85, we'll get this surprise bill for billions of dollars in back taxes, fees and penalties.
 

kyang357

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I think they started doing this in October of 2019. I get taxed on cheap fishing crap from China. Heck, if I buy a used for parts phone, it's taxed, too.
 

Nebulous

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I pay NYS sales tax for what I buy or sell. I remember it was all tax free, now it's not.
 

Domingow

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Wait, so they tax the seller AND they tax the buyer?
eBay will only tax the buyer of the item. However, it seems that eBay in a large amount of auctions will "incorrectly" collect the correct amount of tax for that purchase. Every time I buy from eBay they charge double the correct tax rate...first world problems.
 

celwin

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Thanks for the replies. It surprised me when I saw payment from buyer included sales tax. I miss the no sales tax on internet purchases days.
 

NobleX13

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I think they started doing this in October of 2019. I get taxed on cheap fishing crap from China. Heck, if I buy a used for parts phone, it's taxed, too.
I lost it when AliExpress caved in to US pressure and started collecting sales tax.
 

Mr. Bluntman

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eBay will only tax the buyer of the item. However, it seems that eBay in a large amount of auctions will "incorrectly" collect the correct amount of tax for that purchase. Every time I buy from eBay they charge double the correct tax rate...first world problems.
Yep, I paid nearly $18 tax on a $250 purchase this past month.
 

NobleX13

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The holiday is over, the government(s) have really failed to keep up with the times.
I totally get that, but that wasn't my point.

The Chinese don't give a damn about US copyright laws, among other things. Why would the largest direct-to-American-consumer Chinese retailer start collecting sales tax? Bangood, Gearbest, DHGate, FastTech, and countless others don't. There are still plenty of counterfeits and knockoffs on AliExpress... There is no way they expect to be considered a "legitimate retailer" in the eyes of the US government. Maybe this is just AliExpress leadership trying to play both sides of the table.
 
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I totally get that, but that wasn't my point.

The Chinese don't give a damn about US copyright laws, among other things. Why would the largest direct-to-American-consumer Chinese retailer start collecting sales tax? Bangood, Gearbest, DHGate, FastTech, and countless others don't. There are still plenty of counterfeits and knockoffs on AliExpress... There is no way they expect to be considered a "legitimate retailer" in the eyes of the US government. Maybe this is just AliExpress leadership trying to play both sides of the table.
With all the recent tariff increases it wouldn't surprise me one bit. Might end up being a smart play for them in the end.
 

cyclone3d

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The way eBay also doesn't have a way to easily tell what fees are being charged and for what really annoys me as a seller. I've actually called eBay about it before because it can easily look like your seller account is completely screwed up.
 

GiGaBiTe

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You can thank South Dakota for internet sales tax. They filed and won a landmark suit in the supreme court 'South Dakota v. Wayfair' which allows states to collect sales tax from entities outside their jurisdiction. This overturned the 1992 decision on 'Quill Corp v. North Dakota', which the supreme court ruled that states couldn't impose a use tax on entities outside their jurisdiction because of the dormant commerce clause. It stipulated that only the federal government has the right to regulate interstate commerce, which means that any individual state couldn't apply use/sales taxes or other fees to entities outside their jurisdiction.

It was only a matter of time though because many (mostly blue states) had "kill quill" lawsuits circulating through the courts for years before this. Big gubment can't stand seeing billions of dollars trading hands without getting their undue cut. California is a prime example, they've been filing lawsuits on persons/companies leaving the state for taxes they think they're due for decades. If they think you have money they can somehow apply a tax to, they're going to drown you in a legal quagmire until they get what they want, even if you leave the state and have no plans on ever returning.

South Dakota made all sorts of idiotic arguments for why they should be able to apply taxes outside the state. One was that it "evens the playing field" and makes for more fair competition in the market since both inside and outside state entities have to pay tax. It really doesn't. A brick and mortar store isn't going to compete with an Amazon warehouse, ever. Another was when the defense brought up that it put an undue burden on small businesses because they'd be required to navigate a minefield of tax codes, SD countered "there is computer software that can do that for them". OK, having to pay hundreds of dollars a year for complex tax software totally isn't burdensome.

Residents of Washington DC had the last laugh.
Washington%2C_D.C._license_plate.jpg
 

CraptacularOne

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eBay will only tax the buyer of the item. However, it seems that eBay in a large amount of auctions will "incorrectly" collect the correct amount of tax for that purchase. Every time I buy from eBay they charge double the correct tax rate...first world problems.
Not true, I recently sold some bike gear on eBay and I was charged sales tax as the seller.
 

Secretweapon

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Ebay will charge the buyers tax per state rules (You can see the amount in paypal afterwards.)

For Canadians they will also charge GST on top of final value fees (which applies to both shipping and item)
 

slavie

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Yep. after the Wayfair case, the floodgates had opened and more and more states quickly started passing legislature forcing the internet transaction facilitators (eBay, Amazon, Newegg marketplace - any platform that "facilitates" transactions) to collect taxes on sellers behalf.

Some states, like NY, have gone even further and now force any online retailer that does more than $10,000 in sales to the residents of NYS to pay taxes to the state of NY. Hence why some smaller sellers can still ship "tax free" and others don't. I say "tax free" because it was never tax free: there is a question on state tax returns that asks if you've made any out of state purchases that you did not pay tax on. The filer was supposed to self-report and pay taxes. Few did, as you can imagine...

Before this, Amazon, for example, only had to charge taxes in states where they had physical presence. CA, of course, and NY came not long after as soon as AZ opened some offices there.

But, the whole "tax free" internet purchase thing was bound to end sooner or later. I'm surprised it even lasted as long as it did, to be honest.
 

Domingow

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Not true, I recently sold some bike gear on eBay and I was charged sales tax as the seller.
How does that work?
As a buyer I would assume to pay for the tax liability of the item. As a seller why would one be taxed for selling the item at the time of the sale. Seems a bit...potato.
 

CraptacularOne

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How does that work?
As a buyer I would assume to pay for the tax liability of the item. As a seller why would one be taxed for selling the item at the time of the sale. Seems a bit...potato.
I'm not sure, but attached is a snipping from my PayPal invoice for the sold bike parts. The winning bid was 195.16 in my case and as you can see they deducted taxes from my available total. And that's not counting the final value fee I've been assed from eBay of $19 that I have to pay next week. I avoid buying or selling anything on eBay unless it absolutely cannot be helped.
 

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cyclone3d

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I'm not sure, but attached is a snipping from my PayPal invoice for the sold bike parts. The winning bid was 195.16 in my case and as you can see they deducted taxes from my available total. And that's not counting the final value fee I've been assed from eBay of $19 that I have to pay next week. I avoid buying or selling anything on eBay unless it absolutely cannot be helped.
They collected the tax from the buyer when the item sold (looking like it went to you).. and then they collected that same exact amount from you. The tax doesn't actually get payed to you, it goes to the state.

eBay did NOT charge you sales tax.

And the winning bid was NOT 195.16. That was the total paid by the buyer not including tax and shipping.
 

Secretweapon

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That doesn't make sense. Did you offer free shipping or something different on the listing? It should look like this ...


1613851098276.png
 

Flogger23m

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Yep. after the Wayfair case, the floodgates had opened and more and more states quickly started passing legislature forcing the internet transaction facilitators (eBay, Amazon, Newegg marketplace - any platform that "facilitates" transactions) to collect taxes on sellers behalf.

Some states, like NY, have gone even further and now force any online retailer that does more than $10,000 in sales to the residents of NYS to pay taxes to the state of NY. Hence why some smaller sellers can still ship "tax free" and others don't. I say "tax free" because it was never tax free: there is a question on state tax returns that asks if you've made any out of state purchases that you did not pay tax on. The filer was supposed to self-report and pay taxes. Few did, as you can imagine...

Before this, Amazon, for example, only had to charge taxes in states where they had physical presence. CA, of course, and NY came not long after as soon as AZ opened some offices there.

But, the whole "tax free" internet purchase thing was bound to end sooner or later. I'm surprised it even lasted as long as it did, to be honest.

Exactly. That is why you pay sales tax on used items. Which is lame, but because ebay/Amazon/newegg make a profit, I suppose they can charge you sales tax.
 

CraptacularOne

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They collected the tax from the buyer when the item sold (looking like it went to you).. and then they collected that same exact amount from you. The tax doesn't actually get payed to you, it goes to the state.

eBay did NOT charge you sales tax.

And the winning bid was NOT 195.16. That was the total paid by the buyer not including tax and shipping.
I dunno, I very rarely use eBay. Why does my eBay page list the winning bid at 195.16 then? Did they just calculate the tax based on whatever the winning bid was before the buyer paid for the item?
 

slavie

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I dunno, I very rarely use eBay. Why does my eBay page list the winning bid at 195.16 then? Did they just calculate the tax based on whatever the winning bid was before the buyer paid for the item?
I'm gonna guess a glitch. 195.16 is the total the buyer paid. Of that, $14.99 was for shipping and $10.17 for tax that eBay collected on your behalf. Winning bid was $170 (195.16-14.99-10.17)

eBay does not make money on taxes, nor do they pay them. The simply charge the buyer the tax and pass it to the appropriate state. The kicker is, they will charge you, the seller, the credit card fee for the tax paid by the buyer, which is the part that I find messed up (but, this is how any brick n mortar store functions - the stores pay CC fees for taxes, states get full amount...). At the beginning, that fee was paid by eBay - then later they changed the system to pass that fee onto the seller.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I was always disappointed by this.

If it is a store, that is one thing, but for used items sold between individuals, not as a business it makes no sense at all.

eBay is the modern version of classified pages. Since when has selling something used in classifieds been subject to taxes? (except maybe for cars, where sales taxes are typically - depending on state - due when you register them)

I'm not usually one to complain about taxes. I view them as a necessary evil that pays for things we need in society, but in this case the item has already been taxed once when I bought it. Taxing it again when I sell it to someone else seems like double dipping, and just plain wrong.

All of that said, I gave up selling on eBay years ago. Between eBay and Paypal fees they were just taking too much of a chunk of the sales price to make it worth it. I sell things locally on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, or in places like the [H] classifieds these days. It makes me a lot less angry. :p
 

Epos7

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I don't have a problem with eCommerce sites charging sales tax - I don't want businesses in my state to be at a disadvantage. I do have a bit of an issue with taxing used items - I only sell a few items per year on eBay so it should be pretty obvious I'm not running a business on eBay. I agree with the classified ad analogy.

What really gets me with eBay is that the final value fee eBay collects is based on the total including tax and shipping. I find this absurd. Say you sell an item for $100, shipping is $10, and the buyer lives in a state with 10% sales tax. eBay will collect 10% of $120, not 10% of $100. It's incredibly disingenuous.

I sold a CPU on eBay last month. Final value was $407, shipping was $8. eBay took $55 - 13.5% of the final value. Part of this is that they now process their own payments, so there's a payment fee. Then they took 10% of the final value, shipping, and tax. F&^% eBay.
 
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travm

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It should be illegal to show a price without the tax included; not just eBay, but anywhere.
It should be illegal for adults not to be able to do relatively simple multiplication in their head before they buy something.

It's simple, sales tax is paid by the buyer, to their local Gov't. So for eBay to include this in the price it would be wrong for everyone, unless you told eBay what region you were from.
 

MrSneis

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Yeah it's the worst. You pay tax on what you buy and from the selling side their fees and payments changes make it just that much better.
 

Mystique

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It's simple, sales tax is paid by the buyer, to their local Gov't. So for eBay to include this in the price it would be wrong for everyone, unless you told eBay what region you were from.
It's not hard to make that work, they have your account if you're able to bid, and your address is part of your account. At the very least, it should say what you just wrote somewhere ... anywhere on the screen when you bid and have a demo tax rate/price included. But no, it's deceptively excluded on purpose as a gotcha.

It should be illegal for adults not to be able to do relatively simple multiplication in their head before they buy something.
Your edgy "I'm so good at math" response is just ridiculous. Of course I know math, I can do that calculation instantly; I'm a programmer. For me, it's not just relatively simple multiplication, it's effortless. The fact that places are actively hiding what rules even apply for a given purchase, is a the problem. But lets say someone who doesn't know math, like a teenager wants to buy stuff; why do you need to deceive them?

Instead of trying to convince someone you're anything but a proponent of bad policy and trying to shame people for 'being bad at math" (which isn't even the issue we're talking about), come up with an actual reason that makes sense why it can't be. There really is none though. Europe already has it right; it was hard to explain to my friends when they visited why our system is so stupid. You shouldn't ever visit some place and be deceived by the prices you see around you; that feels third world-esque.

How would you explain it... does it go like.. "Oh yeah.. that's actually -not- the amount you pay. :dummy:, you have to remember an arbitrary state % tax ... uhhh gee, I forget what it is in this state, then calculate it yourself." Great end user experience there... Imagine the reason for it, being that someone argued that WYSWYG is a bad idea. Good work, friend.
 
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cyclone3d

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I don't have a problem with eCommerce sites charging sales tax - I don't want businesses in my state to be at a disadvantage. I do have a bit of an issue with taxing used items - I only sell a few items per year on eBay so it should be pretty obvious I'm not running a business on eBay. I agree with the classified ad analogy.

What really gets me with eBay is that the final value fee eBay collects is based on the total including tax and shipping. I find this absurd. Say you sell an item for $100, shipping is $10, and the buyer lives in a state with 10% sales tax. eBay will collect 10% of $120, not 10% of $100. It's incredibly disingenuous.

I sold a CPU on eBay last month. Final value was $407, shipping was $8. eBay took $55 - 13.5% of the final value. Part of this is that they now process their own payments, so there's a payment fee. Then they took 10% of the final value, shipping, and tax. F&^% eBay.
Thing is.. eBay used to not charge fees on the shipping. That led to people gaming the system by posting stuff for like $1.00 and then charging the rest as "shipping and handling".

So the few scummy people ruined it for everybody else.
 

toast0

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I figure when we're all 85, we'll get this surprise bill for billions of dollars in back taxes, fees and penalties.

Probably not. Statutes of limitations should apply for most of the cases; but I guess it depends on how desperate California's Franchise Tax Board gets.
 

Format _C:

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In Connecticut (where you get taxed for breathing & existing, hell my cat got taxed just for saying Meow!) this started around the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020 (the year of shitfest COVID and riots and other crap) I don't sell on eBay anymore after I got scammed selling a hi-end MiniDisc recorder I got the buyers broken POS (not even an ES Model) back and I had to pay to even get the wrong item back! I only buy stuff there now
 

Flogger23m

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I was always disappointed by this.

If it is a store, that is one thing, but for used items sold between individuals, not as a business it makes no sense at all.

eBay is the modern version of classified pages. Since when has selling something used in classifieds been subject to taxes? (except maybe for cars, where sales taxes are typically - depending on state - due when you register them)

I'm not usually one to complain about taxes. I view them as a necessary evil that pays for things we need in society, but in this case the item has already been taxed once when I bought it. Taxing it again when I sell it to someone else seems like double dipping, and just plain wrong.

All of that said, I gave up selling on eBay years ago. Between eBay and Paypal fees they were just taking too much of a chunk of the sales price to make it worth it. I sell things locally on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, or in places like the [H] classifieds these days. It makes me a lot less angry. :p

The problem here is ebay is running a business and does make a profit. Fine, then why not charge sales tax on the profit margin? If you sell a $100 item and ebay's profits are $10, you should get charged sales tax on the $10 profit margin.
 

Format _C:

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That's a pretty good sign that the keys are completely legit. You might as well get a key generator yourself and skip the payment.

The problem here is ebay is running a business and does make a profit. Fine, then why not charge sales tax on the profit margin? If you sell a $100 item and ebay's profits are $10, you should get charged sales tax on the $10 profit margin.

well eBay takes more then their fair share of profits from the seller as it is! then extra fees on the shipping + PayPal fees + tax now no wonder it is mostly eBay store fronts and hardly any private seller and the scamming buyers as I said above.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I don't sell on eBay anymore after I got scammed selling a hi-end MiniDisc recorder I got the buyers broken POS (not even an ES Model) back and I had to pay to even get the wrong item back! I only buy stuff there now

Yep, ebay is a shitshow. I was burned twice by idiot buyers and I will never sell anything there again.

Ebay's original purpose was to be an online marketplace for individuals to sell things, sort of like a consignment shop but online. 10-12 years ago this rapidly morphed into what Ebay is today, an online storefront of mega sellers that list thousands of items. They've progressively implemented policies that have effectively eliminated small sellers. Sellers today have no rights or protections on their platform, so if something goes wrong, like the buyer is a scam artist, there's basically nothing you can do.

I've seen a steady decline in individual small sellers over the years on Ebay, which has rapidly accelerated over the last year due to covid. It will probably never recover because there is no incentive to sell on Ebay with other markets available.
 

B00nie

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Yep, ebay is a shitshow. I was burned twice by idiot buyers and I will never sell anything there again.

Ebay's original purpose was to be an online marketplace for individuals to sell things, sort of like a consignment shop but online. 10-12 years ago this rapidly morphed into what Ebay is today, an online storefront of mega sellers that list thousands of items. They've progressively implemented policies that have effectively eliminated small sellers. Sellers today have no rights or protections on their platform, so if something goes wrong, like the buyer is a scam artist, there's basically nothing you can do.

I've seen a steady decline in individual small sellers over the years on Ebay, which has rapidly accelerated over the last year due to covid. It will probably never recover because there is no incentive to sell on Ebay with other markets available.
Probably the danger of being scammed by the seller outweighed the risk of a buyer scamming though. 99,9% of my Ebay purchases have been positive.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Probably the danger of being scammed by the seller outweighed the risk of a buyer scamming though. 99,9% of my Ebay purchases have been positive.

Of course your buying experiences are positive, Ebay ALWAYS sides with the buyer. Sellers have absolutely no protections and no recourse other than to take Ebay and the buyer to court. It only takes one bad buyer to ruin you on Ebay. In both of the cases where I was scammed as a seller, I lost hundreds of dollars and in one case was returned trashed equipment so I couldn't recoup anything. Ebay gave absolutely zero fucks, and to further stab skewers in my eye, charged me for return shipping and more fees "for dealing with the return". They told me straight to my face that "this is the cost of doing business, deal with it."

Buying on ebay is a completely different realm than selling on ebay.
 
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