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ebay collecting tax on all purchases?
Old 11-02-2019   #1
Huss
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ebay collecting tax on all purchases?

This may be old news, and I understand collecting tax on domestic purchases in the US (which is a pretty recent change). But ebay is now also collecting tax from overseas purchases?
I just bought an item from a seller in Poland. $100 with free shipping. ebay charged me 9.5% tax on this. If I brought this into the country through customs I would be charged nothing as it falls under their $800 cap.

So is this legit or an ebay sanctioned scam?
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Old 11-02-2019   #2
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There was recent legislation requiring online sellers to collect the state sales tax and forward those taxes to the state where the purchase was made.
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Old 11-02-2019   #3
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This is what they say:

If you sell to buyers in the US, some states may require you to collect applicable Internet Sales Tax on your transactions. As of October 1, 2019, a total of 34 states now require the collection of sales tax. In such cases, eBay collects and remits Internet Sales Tax on your behalf.
Learn more about Internet Sales Tax, on our Help pages, from your tax advisor, or from our partners Avalara and TaxJar.
Starting in November 2019, the way taxable transactions are processed and how taxes are collected for remittance will change, as follows:
In states where eBay is required to collect Internet Sales Tax from buyers, order totals sent for processing will reflect the gross order amount inclusive of tax.
Once settled, the tax amount will be automatically deducted for remittance to the applicable taxing authority.
A record of the sales tax portion of the order will be available on the Seller Hub Order details page and through our Download order report.
Please note the applicable tax will continue to be paid by the buyer and you do not need to take any action. These changes do not apply to sellers in managed payments.
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Old 11-02-2019   #4
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So as I live in CA, ebay is collecting CA sales tax for overseas purchases?

Hmm, this makes for a good reason to buy stuff directly from the shops (eg Leica Store in Vienna) and have them ship it as you would not get charged tax.

p.s thank you for the explanations.
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Old 11-02-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
So as I live in CA, ebay is collecting CA sales tax for overseas purchases?

Hmm, this makes for a good reason to buy stuff directly from the shops (eg Leica Store in Vienna) and have them ship it as you would not get charged tax.

p.s thank you for the explanations.
If you used to buy from Leicashop in Vienna on ebay then probably yes, but usually items in those stores are much more expensive compared to private sellers.
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Old 11-02-2019   #6
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It is very odd that overseas purchases are included in the money grab. I discovered this when buying something from a Japanese seller. Personally, after all the slings & arrows of eBay, this one has tipped the scales for me. Am done with them.
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Old 11-02-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
So as I live in CA, ebay is collecting CA sales tax for overseas purchases?

Hmm, this makes for a good reason to buy stuff directly from the shops (eg Leica Store in Vienna) and have them ship it as you would not get charged tax.

p.s thank you for the explanations.
Unless they charge shipping, and it depends on the value of the item taxed versus the shipping cost, then add in insurance for more expensive items.
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Old 11-02-2019   #8
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I understand the state sales tax thing, and think all things considered, it's good. But not sure how, or why, they can tax out of country purchases.
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Old 11-02-2019   #9
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Man did I just miss this? I purchased a camera from Austria Halloween Night. No sales tax.
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Old 11-02-2019   #10
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Camera from Japan cost me $26 tax--I live in Washington State.
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Old 11-02-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
Unless they charge shipping, and it depends on the value of the item taxed versus the shipping cost, then add in insurance for more expensive items.

They have had some deals where it was much cheaper than buying in the USA, plus with big ticket items free insurance and shipping. And no tax.
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Old 11-02-2019   #12
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Request from the seller to send you a funds request for goods...this still goes thru E***..
But..there is...

No tax...tuna-mon'..
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Old 11-02-2019   #13
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Generally Amazon and Ebay both collect the same state or national taxes.
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Old 11-02-2019   #14
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Old 11-02-2019   #15
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My major beef is that eBay is collecting tax on the shipping as well - which adds up on an overseas purchase.
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Old 11-02-2019   #16
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I'd like to be done with e-bay but unfortunately for odd-ball items (that are fortunately, usually very cheap), that is where to find them. You know, something like a 48mm to 49mm filter step up ring so I can use easy to find threaded filters, hoods and lens caps for a Canon QL17 GIII for instance.
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Old 11-02-2019   #17
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I just bought a large easel from eBay seller in Canada and
they charged sales tax. I'm in California.
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Old 11-02-2019   #18
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I’ll be sending them a tax exempt form.
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Old 11-02-2019   #19
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Yes
That’s been going on now awhile
I no longer buy on ebay
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Old 11-02-2019   #20
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Recently purchased several CZ Jena lenses from seller in Leipzig, no sales tax paid. Generally if I have to buy on EBay and reach out that far from California to get an item I want, the tax is of little consequence cause if it was across the street I’d still have to pay it.
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Old 11-02-2019   #21
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I don't know if Roberts would charge a tax if you purchased from there brick and mortar store. Items they sell on ebay cost lens through their store and you can call them. There is a store in California that hasn't charged me taxes but BH Photo has. Only two "store" not on ebay I've dealt with lately.

I too would like to be done with Ebay as well. But I always see something I want
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Old 11-02-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Yes
That’s been going on now awhile
I no longer buy on ebay
Ditto for me going forward. Any incentive to use eBay is pretty much gone.
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Old 11-02-2019   #23
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Eventually I expect all states to require sales tax collection from online purchases. It's a revenue stream they've been missing out on ever since the Internet started, and quite easily administered. That is as long as the seller forwards the money to the state. I can see where an unscrupulous seller thinks they can get away with skimming from the top by over charging the tax, then cooking the books to hide it.


The good thing about the system as it is I need to do much less filing to keep track of what I owe for online purchases to pay in a lump sum every year as most of my shopping is with sites that collect the tax.


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Old 11-02-2019   #24
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I understand paying tax in the US when buying out of state. It levels the playing field because places like B&H (who suck with how they don't care how poorly they ship so I don't use them but that's another story) don't actually have better prices than my local places (Cameraquest, Samys etc). But people use them because in the past they saved on tax if out of state.

But charging tax on imports? This is from US Customs and Border Protection:
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/internati...toms-duty-info

Unaccompanied purchases are goods you bought on a trip that are being mailed or shipped to you in the United States. In other words, you are not carrying the goods with you when you return. If your unaccompanied purchases are from an insular possession (IP) or a Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) country and are being imported within 30 days and sent directly from those locations to the United States, you may enter them as follows:

Up to $1,600 in goods will be duty-free under your personal exemption if the merchandise is from an IP.
Up to $800 in goods will be duty-free if it is from a CBI or Andean country.
Any additional amount, up to $1,000, in goods will be dutiable at a flat rate (3%).


This states that there is a threshold that needs to be hit before taxes are taken. Just as if you entered the country carrying it with you.
So ebay should not be charging tax on sales from abroad unless it reaches that threshold.
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Old 11-02-2019   #25
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It has nothing to do with buying overseas. All states collect "state" sales taxes on purchases. Previous to a recent US Supreme Count ruling the buyer was held responsible to declare out of state purchases (generally on his yearly income tax return) and pay sale tax on those purchases. Of course no body did. So it doesn't matter where you bought the item from, the neighboring state, Europe, Russia or Outer Mongolia, you need to pay sales tax. The only thing strange about eBay is the fact that eBay is acting as the tax collector in this case. I'm on other auction sites the the seller is required to collect and remit the sales tax.
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Old 11-02-2019   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
... All states collect "state" sales taxes on purchases...
Not quite all states... There may be others like Oregon which has no sales tax. But there's a state income tax. Conversely, Washington does have a sales tax, but no income tax! For those Washington state residents living close to the Oregon border, this opens the attractive possibility of shopping tax-free in Oregon.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
It has nothing to do with buying overseas. All states collect "state" sales taxes on purchases. Previous to a recent US Supreme Count ruling the buyer was held responsible to declare out of state purchases (generally on his yearly income tax return) and pay sale tax on those purchases. Of course no body did. So it doesn't matter where you bought the item from, the neighboring state, Europe, Russia or Outer Mongolia, you need to pay sales tax. The only thing strange about eBay is the fact that eBay is acting as the tax collector in this case. I'm on other auction sites the the seller is required to collect and remit the sales tax.
Correct.

This has been a goal of "brick and mortar" business and state tax collectors and their many political supporters since e-commerce began. The idea is to "level the playing field". Of course leveling the playing field in the tax world, means extending a tax to many others; eliminating it is never considered! The mainstream elements of both political parties in the US support this BTW, as do the courts now it seems.

Unfortunately this will further erode some of the advantages of shopping on the Internet, as are currently skyrocketing shipping costs. Also, as can already be seen from the discussion here, implementing what is a de-facto large tax increase, does not usually lead to large revenue increases for the collectors, since the taxed economic activity is often suppressed. Also, the targeted payees also try to find workarounds to avoid paying (legally or not). If the comments on this thread are any indication, I can see already that it won't be too popular with non "stakeholders" (the stakeholders being "main street" businesses and the many groups that depend on state revenues for their livelihood). Right now I can't imagine any mainstream national politician opposing it, but it will be interesting to see how the public receives it! The argument that it is not a new tax is true only in a legal sense, but practically speaking it is -and a fairly substantial one. For the supporters, I think pitching this as a non-tax increase, i.e. something we should have been paying all along, is a mistake politically - honestly describing what it is, a new Internet commerce tax, is better received (at least with me).
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
This may be old news, and I understand collecting tax on domestic purchases in the US (which is a pretty recent change). But ebay is now also collecting tax from overseas purchases?
I just bought an item from a seller in Poland. $100 with free shipping. ebay charged me 9.5% tax on this. If I brought this into the country through customs I would be charged nothing as it falls under their $800 cap.

So is this legit or an ebay sanctioned scam?
9.5% sounds reasonable. Anything I buy from the US, Merkel puts almost 20% on top including shipping cost. Thanks Angela!

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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If the only reason you were buying something via remote sales was to avoid paying taxes, well, that is coming to a close. I wondered when the government was going to start enforcing collection of tax on sales, regardless of where they were from, because as commerce has shifted more and more to an on-line model of remote sales, the revenues accorded to government had to be dropping like a stone.

I buy lots of things on-line not necessarily because they're cheaper or to avoid the tax ... I buy lots of things on-line because there aren't many sources to find them locally.

As a buyer, of course I dislike it when I have to pay add-on service fees or taxes. As a seller, I like it very much when someone else calculates the tax, collects it directly from the buyer, and sends it to the appropriate tax collection authority for me; that saves me a ton of bookkeeping work.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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I sold a camera on ebay and they charged me 10% on the sale.
plus Paypal charged anther 3%
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #32
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You pay sales tax when you buy the item new. The next seller pays sales tax when he buys the item from you used. And so on and so on. At some point the taxing authority (who already taxed the manufacturer a dozen different ways) has made more money from the item than laborers.

I've always thought taxing internet sales is going to bite a lot of businesses (and states). Too many brick and mortar stores depend on internet sales. When businesses go out of business employees go on unemployment and no longer pay income tax. The business no longer pays taxes. In the end the state loses income. I lived in Delaware for a few years. Reasonable state income tax, no sales tax, low corporate tax and NO sales tax. The economy was booming especially compared to the high tax neighboring states.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #33
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The item I bought was an original but used lens cap for a 60yr anniversary Rolleiflex 2.8GX. It's different than the regular ones. The only one I could find was overseas and only at one place. Who had only one..
But ebay charging me tax on it for something that US Customs in Los Angeles would not is bogus.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #34
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When Paypal starts collecting tax on goods and services transactions is when I'm done. Finally. I think many folks will look for alternatives but as we try to sidestep taxes the guvmint finds a way to impose them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #35
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Mercari - is a buy-sell app that I have been using.

Up front fees - severely discounted postage - no return postage costs for buyers or sellers.

You can pay with credit - PayPal - or your Mercari balance.

Money stays in Mercari until you chose to move it at 2% fee not exceed 10$


There are alternatives.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #36
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EBay started collecting a 10% Goods and Services tax for Australians buying overseas a year or two back after the Australian government made a tax grab (Previously anything bought on eBay under $1000 was exempt which I think originally was just a thing designed to make policing GST easier for our authorities). In our case if I buy from an Australian source no GST is added by eBay (it is already supposed to be included in the Australian selling price).

But if I buy from an overseas address, 10% gets automatically added at checkout on the total price including P&H after being converted to Oz dollars at Paypal's exorbitantly bad rate of exchange. With the recent decline in the Oz dollar over the last couple of years it often makes purchases uneconomical. Especially if buying from a US seller who charges crazy handling and postage fees in US dollars as too many do (which might be a USPS thing). But in any event I now seldom buy anything from USA as a result and in general I have cut back severely on my eBay buying. Which kind of proves a point I like to make - "If taxing cigarettes is a good way to cut smoking, what effect do you think taxing economic activity generally will have on economies that do this?" Which of course is also why taxes seldom bring in as much money as their advocates claim they will. People just buy less or find a way to avoid paying.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #37
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I'm glad I got my fix of buying and selling film cameras on ebay 10 years a go. I'm over it now.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #38
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This may provide some semblance of an explanation.

Per California Board of Equalization (California's Sales Tax Regulator):


"Generally, remote sales by out-of-state retailers to California customers, whether made over the Internet, by telephone, or mail order, take place outside of California because the property is delivered to a common carrier outside the state for shipment into California, and are, therefore, not subject to sales tax."
However, a businesses must charge sales tax if they have a "Presence in California."

"Out-of-state retailers are considered to be engaged in business in California if they have a substantial nexus with California. This includes, but is not limited to, an out-of-state retailer which:
  1. Has an affiliate operating in California that has entered into an agreement to refer potential customers to the retailer, for a consideration based upon completed sales, by an Internet-based link, Internet website, or otherwise, under specified circumstances, or
  2. Owns or leases real or tangible personal property, including a computer server, in California, or
  3. Maintains, occupies, or uses a place of business in California"
eBay headquarters are in San Jose, California. Since you are buying thru eBay they charge Sales Tax to California customers.


Here is the link to the B.O.E. publication "109 Internet Sales"


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...OZ0n-ufABd-G7Z
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfaninchawater View Post
This may provide some semblance of an explanation.

Per California Board of Equalization (California's Sales Tax Regulator):


"Generally, remote sales by out-of-state retailers to California customers, whether made over the Internet, by telephone, or mail order, take place outside of California because the property is delivered to a common carrier outside the state for shipment into California, and are, therefore, not subject to sales tax."
However, a businesses must charge sales tax if they have a "Presence in California."

"Out-of-state retailers are considered to be engaged in business in California if they have a substantial nexus with California. This includes, but is not limited to, an out-of-state retailer which:
  1. Has an affiliate operating in California that has entered into an agreement to refer potential customers to the retailer, for a consideration based upon completed sales, by an Internet-based link, Internet website, or otherwise, under specified circumstances, or
  2. Owns or leases real or tangible personal property, including a computer server, in California, or
  3. Maintains, occupies, or uses a place of business in California"
eBay headquarters are in San Jose, California. Since you are buying thru eBay they charge Sales Tax to California customers.


Here is the link to the B.O.E. publication "109 Internet Sales"


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...OZ0n-ufABd-G7Z
Yes, but PayPal is starting to collect it for most states now. A major court case, resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court recently enabled states to compel all sellers, no matter where they are, to remit sales tax to the state the purchaser lives in. Of course this is not very practical or possible, but centralized payment services like PayPal will make it so - to the extent possible at least. There is too much money at stake for states to walk away from this (or so they think!).

Of course the existing sales tax laws were enacted in a much simpler era in terms of the way commerce was ordinarily conducted (primarily locally).Taxing authorities worldwide though are well known to ignore the concept of jurisdictional restrictions - garnering revenue is their primary mandate.

My personal viewpoint is that, while I don't believe the specious arguments in favor of it, this is the current law of the land and it should be accepted and complied with unless our democratic process determines otherwise. That's how our system works.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #40
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They are the intermediary for items bought overseas. To pay local taxes for the privilege of using their web funnel is no privilege at all.

I'm done. I can find local vendors whose volume is beneath the threshold and save a heap of cash.

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