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TOPIC: Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington

Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 5 months 3 weeks ago #22682

  • StanG
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To my shock, I saw tax added to my bill as I was going to make a small purchase yesterday on Ebay.
I thought it's the seller, but after a short investigation it turns out that Ebay started collecting taxes on behalf the government in Washington. The same will come gradually to a few other states. To start with - I suspect.

I did a bit of testing and what turns out, and it's a real literal shit policy in my strong opinion, that this is not a tax on purchases made in the Washington State, but it's a tax (about 10%), on ALL packages JUST SHIPPED to this state! When I clicked randomly 'buy now' button on something from UK, China or wherever, the tax showed up in the check out. That's right. From January 1 2019, the tax is applied to anything with a shipping address in the Washington State no matter where in the world it was purchased. This tax is not a sales tax, but a shipping address tax.

This a complete assault on thousands of people in Vancouver and greater BC. Of course they don't gice a shit. I wonder if a refund can be claimed for people like me, out of state and country, using parcel services across the border. Plus, it's a ridiculous concept charging tax on a pile of rusty bolts or greasy engine part. Or any personal item, like a pebble found on a beach and sold! Or perhaps there are taxes on garage sales in place already? If businesses sell whatever they do, they are responsible for their taxes, they should file - not a buyer. And I bet lots of seller already calculate costs and taxes in their sales price, or exaggerated handling and shipping costs. But now Ebay became a 'taxman'! Oh, sorry for the word as in the correct current world it should be said 'taxperson', LOL, Or 'taxpeoples' for the Canadian version.

So, this starts with only one state collecting taxes on all shipments and everyone - Washington just across from Vancouver British Columbia. Coincidence? I don't think so.
In other words, on end, you buy a rusty engine cover, pay shipping (if not free), already pay tax and costs to the seller as he/she most likely already calculated them in the rounded price, then pay tax in the USA, pay tax in Canada, pay fee to the parcel receiving service, pay for gas to go both ways, apply the exchange rate of the in-the-toilet Canadian dollar, and you end up doubling your money - in expenses! As I told some people - don't scream too loud 'happy new year', you might just wish it didn't come this soon and want it to go away.

Here is the link to Ebay's explanation. They start with, quote: "When you sell on eBay, you're responsible for complying with all applicable tax laws.", then start charging these taxes to the buyer. What a bunch of crap.

>>>>>> https://www.ebay.com/help/selling/fees-credits-invoices/taxes-import-charges?id=4121#section4

This will affect, without a doubt, many people. The casual private people making small purchases, like me, probably the most. Charging taxes on a shipping address - simply idiotic.
Things became even less affordable. I wonder what Amazon and other selling outlets will do. It is a common practice not to charge, or charge less, if a purchase is made by an 'outsider' shipping to out of state/province/country. Not in Washington State after just a few short years of freely puffing and huffing on peace and love parades!

Well, I will be looking for 'make offer' buttons from now on and you know what my offers will reflect.
If I've missed something or you have any additional information regarding Canadians shipping to across the border, and if there is actually a different rule for us, please let me know.
I am going to ask the customs next time I go to pick up something.
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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 5 months 3 weeks ago #22710

  • Raygun
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StanG wrote: Well, I will be looking for 'make offer' buttons from now on and you know what my offers will reflect.


I understand why you're upset but I hope you aren't saying you will punish sellers for the taxes collected in Washington state? I sell quite a bit on eBay and it's how I fund my hobbies. After fees and shipping, I receive about 60% of the total paid. I guess that's pretty good but 40% goes to shipping, PayPal fees, and eBay fees. Hopefully Texas doesn't follow Washington on this but I suspect it has a lot to do with Amazon. Amazon is based out of Seattle, has quite an incentive to hurt their competition (eBay), and likely has a lot of state politicians in their pockets. Anyway, you should be able to get those taxes back since you live out of the state/country. It may be from the Canadian government but I really don't know.
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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 5 months 3 weeks ago #22711

  • Kawboy
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Canada is not going to reimburse a Canadian for taxes paid to a foreign state. That would be ridiculous. The money the government has to "pay bills" comes from taxes collected. Why would we reimburse ourselves with our own money?

There used to be a form which could get submitted back to the States to reimburse for taxes collected to an out of state purchase. It was a pain in the ass to file and wait. On a big purchase like when I bought the Porsche 928 and a KH500 in the states, there was another declaration that could be filled out at the time of purchase stating that this purchase was being made by an individual who resides out of state and taxes would not be collected at the time of purchase.

Don't know if this helps. Just sharing past experiences.

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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 5 months 3 weeks ago #22712

  • Raygun
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Kawboy wrote: Canada is not going to reimburse a Canadian for taxes paid to a foreign state. That would be ridiculous. The money the government has to "pay bills" comes from taxes collected. Why would we reimburse ourselves with our own money?


Yeah that's true; I was just tossing around ideas. I know when a Mexican citizen buys something here in Texas and takes it back to Mexico, they can file to be reimbursed for state sales tax so maybe there is something similar in Washington.
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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 5 months 2 weeks ago #22719

  • StanG
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Raygun:

I understand why you're upset but I hope you aren't saying you will punish sellers for the taxes collected in Washington state?



That's not what I'm saying at all. Whoever 'invented' this is narrow minded idiocy is punishing both sellers and buyers. If a sale price is $10 I will offer 0.90 because I don't want to pay extra .10 out of my pocket to whom, local state bureaucrats? When my transaction had absolutely nothing to do with Washington state other than it was shipped to an address with Washington zip code? ANd I'm paying already for this service $3.75 per package! I already support local Washington and American economy with this fee. I buy something for $10, pay 3.75 for the service, and now Washington wants another 1 dollar from me for something I bought in Ukraine and taking to Canada or anywhere else in the world? That's as arrogant and sleazy as it gets. Like taxing a letter because it came into the state - and you already paid the postage!!! Nobody asks you to pay tax if you buy some small items locally across the border. And now they want me to give them 10 cents to Washington on a one dollar purchase in Texas, Florida or South America??? How so? If anything, that collected money should go to Texas, Florida or that country on another continent. A seller or a buyer who have business buying and selling - sure, fees and taxes apply. But collecting taxes in such indiscriminately way is a daylight robbery and absolutely amoral and business wise backward.


This whole thing is f-uped all the way whichever way you'd look. You buy shoes or pants in New Jersey and pay no tax. They get shipped to Washington and they collect tax on these shoes - in Washington! And even higher than New Jersey state tax!!???? You might even be from New Jersey passing through. I have no other word for anyone who is behind this 'innovation' other than they are both an idiot and a scumbag. A business or an individual is responsible for paying taxes and duties. Now they will take 9.18% from a grandma who bought a scarf or a lucky charm.

You bet I will look more than twice before buying something, and look for alternative sources. Ebay used to be a great place, it became a bad place. They charge way too much! This 'invention' is so narrow minded I don't even know where to start. They will gain pennies and loose dollars, punishing sellers more than buyers at the end.

I will ask US customs about this. Tourists get tax exemptions, you don't pay VAT buying from Germany. But if a package lands in Washington state, they want 9.18% for it? It's an extortion. No surprise to see Washington is a leader in this. I've been to Seattle many many times and have an artsy friend there working in IT. He is self-proclaimed liberally very open minded standing for the poor and social injustice, but wears very expensive designer shoes and shirts. Very picky. So yeah, no surprise there Washington. I'd bet my life on saying a big part of it is trying to grab money from Western Canada. Of course, this whole thing started at the government level, not just eBay.
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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 5 months 2 weeks ago #22738

  • Bucko
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Hi Stan, This isn't eBay charging tax out of the blue, it's Washington State mandating the tax be applied - the fact that it just came into effect on Jan 1st is that they (WA state) closed the loophole (eBay not charging state tax) that was there before Jan 1st.. No different than walking into any store in WA and buying something - everybody pays the tax, the retailer is not in a position to determine if the tax is applicable or not because the final destination for the items might be in Canada. One used to able to get a sales tax refund from WA state if they could prove the item(s) were exported but I don't know if that still exists and good luck proving it (even if it was worthwhile do do for low priced items) - just because one lives in Canada, doesn't mean stuff you bought online in the US ends up in Canada.

I'm not thrilled with now having to pay WA state tax but I've rarely ever been charged GST or PST (which is definitely applicable) when I bring something across so there's already a significant tax break involved - keeping my fingers crossed that that doesn't go away.

For me, the bigger issue with eBay is the way they screw sellers (and buyers) on fees. They take a cut on the auction, then if PayPal is used - which is almost universal on eBay - and which eBay owns), they take another cut of the PayPal charge, then if you're paying exchange (like you and I do) they take another cut on the exchange rate, and now that a lot of shipping processing is done through eBay, they take a cut on the shipping as well. All of this increase the cost to the buyer and reduces the profit for the seller. eBay used to have awesome prices and is still useful for old OEM (new and used) parts but I've found myself going to non eBay sources more and more often as the prices are much better (and the shipping costs are often much lower).
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