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Wed Oct 18 2017 14:14:00

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am a high volume eBay seller. I recently found out that beginning Oct 16th, 2017, eBay failed to collect sales tax on (over 100) orders for me. 

I collect sales tax in many states and these orders were for states in which I do collect. This is not isolated to a single state, it's all over the board. 

Because of my size and volume, I have access to a special support team. When I called eBay about it, they were stunned! 

It's eBay's fault that they failed to collect sales tax, and this represents a big loss for me. I want to get the word out about this problem so other sellers can check their records. It's not right for eBay to fail to collect sales tax and not do anything about it.
Seller




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: JamesD This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 18 14:48:20 2017

How is this ebay's fault? You the seller are responsible for collecting the sales tax and remitting back to the state (depending on the state). Amazon, Etsy, Cafepress etc..., are all the same way.

Some people don't collect sales tax because it may be a re-sale, or they may sell a high enough volume to make up for the cost.

But that is besides the point, how could you not be tracking that kind of stuff?

http://www.ebay.com/gds/State-Sales-Tax-and-The-eBay-Seller-/1
0000000002187060/g.html

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 18 15:30:05 2017

Does not the poster read anything on the paid invoice or does the poster just assume.

When you assume with ebay you know what you get.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 18 16:04:48 2017

unless the op has a big box store with many locations, there is no reason to be collecting sales tax except for the op's home state.

some sellers collect sales tax (and not remit) in order to boost their profit margin.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Oct 18 22:31:26 2017

The OP may have several "physical" locations located in different states.

They would be obligated to collect tax from any and all of these states.

They say it started on the 16th, I would say they are right on top of it. . .

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 19 02:32:38 2017

Sellers on Ebay have the ability to set up in their site preferences which state or states they need to collect sales tax in and at what rate.  If Ebay had a hiccup in their programming like they have had on so many things in the past, the OP might very well have had a very serious problem.  The OP would have no control over a glitch or some other issue Ebay may have had.

It sounds like the OP is what some call a Mega Seller and others call an Enterprise seller.  If their company has a presence in multiple states, then they would need to pay the appropriate taxes for each of those states.

Today is the 18th and the OP found the issue and that it started on the 16th, that was ONLY two days ago.  I'd say the OP was very much on top of things and located the issue quickly.  To have access to a "special report team" they must be a Mega seller.

If I were the OP, I'd be asking Ebay how much they are chipping in to cover the issues they caused.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: TrickyMick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 19 08:59:14 2017

Thank you for the heads up OP, always nice to have a real seller's warning and this website to help with staying on top of Ebay sub contractors. Marie is spot on as normal with rational and consise statement.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 19 11:07:10 2017

I check mine constantly. sometimes ebay doesn't collect. I only collect in one state, so I can absorb the loss to a point

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 20 04:51:31 2017

JamesD .... YOU clearly missed the point of the OP's complaint.   HIS point was NOT that the Taxes won't be PAID to the appropriate state(s).   RATHER his point is that   EBAY's  ScrewedUp system FAILED to BILL the BUYER(s) in those states then showed THE SELLER that the invoice had been paid IN FULL and that the SELLER need to ship to the "Fully Paid Up Buyer".

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 20 09:49:39 2017

Indeed, OP's post was not clear and easy to misconstrue.  Instead of ''It's eBay's fault that they failed to COLLECT sales tax,'' OP must have meant ''It's eBay's fault that they failed to BILL FOR sales tax,''

I do not have a store and only am involved with one state, but I am pretty sure it is the same for all.  eBay offers an option to include a charge to cover sales tax in the invoice the customer receives. The customer is supposed to pay to the seller, who then collects the funds and remits the tax to the appropriate state department.

THAT SAID, when I listed items earlier this month I noticed the ''SALES TAX'' box in my draft listings was EMPTY.  Despite my always using the sales tax box with my state specified, there it was empty.   Thank goodness I read the form, that ''SHOULD'' have remained the same with the ''charge sales tax'' box checked by DEFAULT.  

I just ''assumed'' it was ''ebay again, fixing something that is not broken to our annoyance and detriment'' a changing something that should not have been changed.

It sounds like this was way more widespread than I thought.  

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 20 09:59:53 2017

@Marie, you are absolutely right and I would guess your guess is spot on.

My only other comment would be that there should be a place in our Seller accounts, for a DEFAULT choice to specify when sales tax IS to be charged (with state and % involved), so we would not have to spend wasted time reviewing each individual listing to make sure that is happening !!

Thankfully the OP caught it early.  I do a lot of ''Sell Similar'' so problems like this don't always affect me, but now I am going to go into my seller account and see what is there about collecting sales tax.  It sounds to me like ebay made some change that caused this problem.  It's always a good idea to periodically review all your selections.  You can't trust them to leave them alone.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 20 10:39:28 2017

Hi - I'm a small seller in Canada listing only on .ca and have been hit with this bug too.  Have had mostly US and international sales in the past few days, so it only came to my attention yesterday.

The 3 payments I received from Canadian buyers did not have the sales tax included.  My first thought was that an ebay bug had removed the check mark on my listings to charge tax according to the tax table. I verified that was not the case and called c/s.

For once, I didn't have to jump through hoops of fire to explain.........the agent immediately admitted there is a glitch for some users where the taxes are not being charged.  Took a while, but she verified each sale with me, and I got a credit to my account for the amount of the tax. Was told to call in for a credit if it happens again.

Naturally they don't have any idea when this will be fixed so check your  taxable transactions carefully for the next little while.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Oct 20 13:14:32 2017

@timeaftertime
There is!!  There is an entire schedule with each state listed and a box to put in the rate appropriate for that state.  You can also check a box that says the sales tax should be charged to S&H too, as some states charge tax on S&H.  

There is also a spot in the site preferences to check a box called Use Sales Tax Table.  If you check that box, then sales tax gets charged on ANY sale that is to the state or states you have set up in the schedule at the rate of tax you have in the schedule.  The seller does not need to do anything else.  By having this schedule filled out properly, the tax should be charged automatically by Ebay on the listing or listings the buyer purchased.  The seller does not have to do anything else.

You are correct, in the listing form is a box that can be checked or unchecked for sales tax to be charged on the listing if purchased in a state you have set up in your sales tax schedule.  

If you have your site preferences set up to Use Sales Tax Schedule, then Ebay automatically fills that box in for you when you create a listing on their site.  This is true for a relist, sell similar, GTC renewal or a brand new listing.

You made me remember that a few years back I had a problem that Ebay was not applying the sales tax rate on purchases as I had set up in the schedule.  I investigated it within my listing and I found that some of my GTC listings no longer had the sales tax box checked.  I reported it to Ebay and they said they would look into it.  Of course I never heard a thing about it.

But I found a fix.  I bulk edited all my listings and rechecked that box within the listing for sales tax.  After that I have not had the problem since.  

OP you should try the bulk edit and see if it relieves your problem.  Waiting on Ebay is not a good option as we all know.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 21 12:00:28 2017

@ Marie,
Thank you for the fuller explanation and more info. Your posts always make sense even of something that is nonsensical.

I did check my choices in Seller account and indeed ''Charge sales tax'' is what is specified there.  It's always been checked and I have never found it blank. I use NY as the state.  

Yet when I went to list some new auctions, the box in the LISTINGS I was trying to create was BLANK, when it should have been checked by default based on my seller account choices. These were new listings started from scratch.  When I have used ''sell similar'' of course the checked boxes come through along with everything else from the copied item's listing.

@sickandtired - this sounds familiar - except I noticed the empty boxes in my draft listings before I created the auctions.

I make it a habit of checking my accounts to ensure what I want checked is checked, what I want blank is blank.  

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sat Oct 21 16:55:44 2017

Section 9 of the US Constitution SPECIFICALLY STATES :
NO TAX shall be laid on items shipped over the state line.
Ebay or anyone else is committing a CRIME in doing so.

Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU   Check Your eBay Account for Sales Tax SNAFU

by: Carol This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 21 20:47:25 2017

Thanks, OP, for pointing out this potential problem.  And thanks, Marie, for your cogent posts.  I am concerned only about sales tax in one small state, so this is a very minor problem for me, but for sellers like the OP, it could be a substantial expense.  It's hard to understand why ebay can't fix this kind of coding problem very quickly when it is brought to their attention.



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