Buyers who are exempt from paying state sales tax can now purchase items on eBay without being incorrectly charged tax. Word of this development comes not from an eBay announcement, but from a reader who forwarded us an email he received on Wednesday.
eBay began collecting sales tax from buyers located in certain states this year thanks to Marketplace Facilitator laws, but it had no way to accommodate tax-exempt buyers. As we’ve previously noted, that was a problem that may have inhibited sales.
On March 14, eBay began allowing buyers to register their tax-exempt status.
On March 20, a reader received a letter from eBay informing him his future purchases would be tax exempt.
One wrinkle: if such buyers need to purchase an item for which they are not tax-exempt, they must use a different eBay account to do so, according to the letter, which follows below:
Announcement: Tax Exempt Business Registration Now Available
Regarding the Status of your eBay Account
Thank you for sending in your documentation for tax exemption as a buyer in Washington.
We have reviewed your documents and have approved your request for buyer exemption. You will see this reflected on your future purchases as of today, 3/20/2019.
Note: All purchases made under this account (redacted) will be tax exempt when shipping to states listed above. Purchases that should not be tax exempt (e.g., not made with the intention to resell) should be made with a different eBay account. You may be required to pay use tax directly to the state and/or local tax authorities on any purchases of taxable items. For more information, we recommend that you consult with your tax advisor.
I hope this is helpful and wish you all the best on eBay in the future.
eBay Customer Service
See related stories:
eBay Opens Registration for Tax Exempt Buyers (March 14 EcommerceBytes Newsflash)
eBay Seller Update 2019: Sales Tax Collection (March 6 EcommerceBytes Newsflash)
eBay Sales Tax Error? Washington Says Contact the Seller (February 12 EcommerceBytes Blog)