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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 2 months 2 weeks ago #22749

  • StanG
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Oh, I understand that Bucko. Although who knows how this works behind the scenes. Ebay takes those tax collected money and where does it go? It has to be processed, and I bet they don't do it for free.

And basically by what they did is to increase the sell price. The analogy to buying something at a store and paying taxes would work if the seller was located in Washington state. If the seller is in Europe, and a buyer in Canada, how come they collect full local sales tax on the item that wasn't purchased locally? If any, the tax should be paid to the state where the seller is at the rates they have. One could also argue that tax was already included in the price. That's what pretty much the whole world does - you see 5 and you pay 5. No idiotic 99.99 but a 100, taxes included and no tipping bullshit as well. It's a North American phenomenon and of course invented to screw people.

For now, only Washington does this, then a handful of states will join. So I don't really see it as closing any loopholes, but rather going out of the way to implement it under pretense of applying the laws in those particular states or - it would be applied to all states at the federal level. Nobody pays Washington sales tax on items bought in Oregon or New York - until now. So, when they will start taxing on sales in the state of origin, then tax again in Washington, that will add up to pretty hefty amounts! So I don't buy the Ebay's BS explanation, as well as I don't believe other states don't have laws about sales tax - they charge it in every single one. It just seems the Washington state became 'creative' with inventing additional way to grab cash from not just locals, but the whole world. In this case mostly Western Canada. I'd be quite scared if I was a US citizen, and I wouldn't be surprised if Canada will follow. Ebay doesn't charge taxes on items shipped to Canada. Even Canada doesn't charge on small amounts as all those who do cross border shopping or pick up items from Ebay across the border. Then there are tax exemptions of 200, and up to $800 if you stay 48 hours out of the country. That 'tax' they charge now In Washington is not a tax on an item, but an extortion charged in exchange for letting someone use a Washington state zip code for shipping. And we must remember that they make no difference between a private personal purchase and businesses for profit, trying to grab a few pennies from someone buying a comb?

Yes, Ebay was a great place. I sold many thing on Ebay as well, and stopped over a decade ago when logistically it stopped making sense. A few weeks ago I bought a crystal from China on Ebay for 1 cent. I wonder what Ebay would try to charge me on this! Maybe their computers would crash from calculating. haha

Well... That's what the current reality is on this matter, and all I can do is to adopt - I will not blindly follow this but only in extreme case when I have no choice. In other words, private sales from people. A lot of Ebay sellers lost a good loyal customer and not only that money will not enter the American economy, but also the 'tax' the try to extort from me will stay in my pocket. I'd be really pissed with Washington if I was a seller sending often to that state!
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Building an engine from random parts. This will eventually morph into building a bike from random parts - if it ever happens. Need a frame to begin with.

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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 2 months 2 weeks ago #22760

  • Bucko
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Stan, plenty of other states do exactly the same thing. Washington was just slow to catch up. If you were a WA state retailer, would you be happy that you had to charge sales tax to your customers but the same items purchased somewhere out of state and shipped to WA was tax free? I'm pretty sure the WA state government was not happy about it. If you're in Canada and order something from Europe, absolutely Canadian sales taxes apply when the item is imported, although for lower cost items, you'll never likely have it charged, and to add insult to injury, in a lot of cases, the EU folks will add their VAT regardless of the fact that the items is exported to Canada. I've had cases where I didn't order stuff from the UK when the retailer had no way to remove the VAT for items shipped to Canada,

> Ebay doesn't charge taxes on items shipped to Canada

That's true, but Canada customs may charge you and I can pretty much guarantee you that there are tax officials in Canada working very hard to have those Canadian sales taxes embedded into eBay and other online retailers.
Hello from Canada's We(s)t coast.

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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 2 months 2 weeks ago #22771

  • StanG
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Bucko:

I've had cases where I didn't order stuff from the UK when the retailer had no way to remove the VAT for items shipped to Canada,



There you go - that's my solution and I'm not the only one. I guess they lost a sale! haha Great for economy stimulation. Multiply by 10 and you see how it works - the state could collect let's sat $10 income tax from 10 sellers selling ten $10 items, instead they collect $2 from one seller and one buyer because the other 9 buyers didn't order. You could argue a fifty-fifty scenario and where does it go? Same $10, nothing gained, and lost five potential repeated customers and that adds up to loss again.

That's why I applaud as a very smart a decision not to run after taxes and duties at the border known to be a drop off and pick up point. Like where we go from Vancouver. Still, they specifically ask - is it for private use or commercial? I've been there dozens of times and only paid when it was a larger amount. It makes a difference to Canadian customs, but apparently not to WA and Ebay as their tax collecting pony.

Just as we mentioned VAT and UK. Here is a quick copy-paste of how it works in the UK:

If you buy goods online from outside the EU for delivery to the UK, you'll have to pay Customs Duty (if over £120 value) and Import VAT (if over £18) on top of the purchase price (including duties), though Customs Duty is waived if the amount of the calculated duty payable is £7 or less.


So you see again - if a grandpa buys a £10 ball pen, he doesn't pay any duties! But if that grandpa was living in Canada and purchased the same ball pen, have it shipped to pick up at a parcel drop off service specifically designed for this (and bringing lots of revenue to the WA state) when he goes on weekend across the border to spend some dollar at a pub, he is already out of a dollar local tax before he even crossed that border!

So, the problem I have is with Ebay acting as nondiscriminatory tax collector. Ebay has been around for how many years.. over 20? It was founded as a place for ordinary people to buy and sell. And it still is in many ways. Did it have a choice to comply with Washington state? Maybe yes maybe not. But the Washington lawmakers, for example, are just trying hard to find ways to squeeze some dollar out without thinking. Stupid in my opinion in other words. It's not the first time stupid decisions are made on a government level.

<>>>>>Stan, plenty of other states do exactly the same thing. Washington was just slow to catch up. If you were a WA state retailer, would you be happy that you had to charge sales tax to your customers but the same items purchased somewhere out of state and shipped to WA was tax free?


That's how global market works, doesn't it? It's not 1980's with no Internet, not even 2000's! And how many of those retailers buy items they sell somewhere else? Bring cheap furniture from Indonesia? Do they get business tax breaks? Do they file business income tax claiming expenses? WHo pays then the tax on what they get back? An ordinary buyer like me or a grandma across the hall.

I want to stress that my problem is with how it's being done in case of Ebay, not that states want to collect sales tax.

>>>plenty of other states do exactly the same thing. Washington was just slow to catch up.


That's not the case. Just look at the photo - it's a screenshot of exactly where it's happening. Washington is the only state collecting full tax on, again, not a sale but a zip code!
I suppose you didn't read this. There are 3 other states that will join on July 01. Where are the other 40+ states?



Now, when I order in Canada to have it shipped to BC I pay only 5% GST. A total sales tax in BC is 12%, for those who don't know. Same from businesses in other provinces - just GST. I don't pay any provincial local tax! When I buy from Craigslist, Kijiji, or any other private seller anywhere else - I don't pay tax. I don't pay tax on petty small items I bring with me to the airport, up to the limit of course. Just like with cash, you don't even need to declare up to $10,000! How do I know these things - I've crossed borders probably close to 300 times. All over the world, in most common ways you can think of: foot, car, bus, train, ship and a plane, so you could say I've tested it well.

Anyway, it's getting long... I don't want to make a list of where and how it is wrong again, and I bet if lawyers and business people come to a meeting and discuss this they come with very thick binders. Sales tax is what it is, a sales tax on goods purchased. If there were no goods purchased, there should be no tax charge especially done in such a way, like through Ebay, especially considering how it is done - just mindlessly automatically applied 9.18% in Washington for example. We can talk about how many stupid policies, purchases have been made on the government level, wasted literally billions of dollars (I'm speaking about Canada), so I just don't buy any reasoning behind this what is happening on Ebay at face value.

And what if the item is damaged and you have to return it? Or it's lost. Do you get it back or just what you paid the seller? I haven't seen anything about this. Do you get this tax refunded? Tax is government money, at least that where it should end. So, whom I should ask for my money back?

I haven't tested it yet but I'm curious - if you buy from a Washington based seller and ship it to any of the 40+ states, which don't participate in this idiocy. Are you being charged that Washington sales tax? If they would't, it would confirm they collect money for a zip code under a pretense of charging sales tax. I wouldn't be surprised though if they collect it both ways.
1982 Kawasaki KZ1300 A4
Building an engine from random parts. This will eventually morph into building a bike from random parts - if it ever happens. Need a frame to begin with.
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Jan. 01/19 - Ebay IS collecting taxes now in Washington 2 months 2 weeks ago #22775

  • StanG
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Just to add to this - another well established seller or 'sale facilitator' - Amazon.
Just a copy and paste of one of my very recent transactions:

Item Subtotal: CDN$ 13.90
Shipping and handling: CDN$ 4.99
Tax Calculated (GST/HST): CDN$ 0.00
Tax Calculated (PST/QST): CDN$ 0.00
Total: CDN$ 18.89

As you see - no tax. Local sales tax is designed for local sales not email addresses or postal codes. But ideas about taxing emails is already floating around.
1982 Kawasaki KZ1300 A4
Building an engine from random parts. This will eventually morph into building a bike from random parts - if it ever happens. Need a frame to begin with.

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