4 mins article

Paying tax on eBay purchases

Many countries and jurisdictions around the world apply some sort of tax on consumer purchases, including items bought on eBay. Whether the tax is included in the listing price, added at checkout, charged at the border, or paid directly by the buyer depends on the seller's status, the order price, the item's location, and your shipping address.

Items delivered to a United States address

Taxes may be applicable to your purchases based on a variety of factors. These factors may include

  • Price of the item purchased
  • Nature of the item purchased
  • Delivery address of your order

If you live in a state that does not impose a sales tax, you may still see tax calculated on your order if the order is shipped to another state.

Responsibility for the tax

Seller Responsibility
If your shipping address is not in one of the marketplace responsibility states but the seller has a responsibility to charge sales tax, the applicable taxes will be included in the order total at checkout.

Marketplace Responsibility
If your shipping address is in one of the marketplace responsibility states within the US, applicable sales tax will be collected by eBay and included in the order total at checkout.

Buyer Exemption Program

If you are a tax-exempt buyer (e.g., charitable entity, reseller, etc.), we have a buyer exemption system that allows you to submit tax exemption certificates to eBay and make purchases without paying tax.

In order to verify tax exemptions applicable to your business for purchases on eBay, you must share a valid exemption certificate (acceptable file formats are .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .pdf, and .png), that you can submit via this Document Upload Link - opens in new window or tab. Please select "General Information" in the drop down menu.

Please include the following information in the Comments section:

  • Full Name
  • Business Name
  • eBay ID

Please allow 7-10 business days for processing.

Alternatively, you may be able to get a credit for sales tax paid to eBay directly from your state. However, you should consult a tax advisor or contact the department of revenue for your state for further details as policies are different for each state.

See details and FAQs on paying tax on internet purchases.

Buyer Responsibility
If neither the seller nor eBay collect sales tax on items purchased by you, 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.

In addition to any applicable sales or use taxes, if the items you purchase are shipped from outside the US, you may have to pay duties and any applicable customs processing fees. You may need to pay these additional amounts to the customs authority or to the entity handling your shipment (e.g. US Postal Service).

For more information about buying from overseas sellers, see our article about international purchases and shipping.

eBay sales tax collection

Based on applicable tax laws, eBay will calculate, collect, and remit sales tax on behalf of sellers for items shipped to customers in the following states:

State

Effective Date

Additional Information

Minnesota

January 1, 2019

Minnesota - opens in new window or tab

Small business exemption - Minnesota has enacted a small business exemption for out of state unregistered sellers whose taxable retail sales into Minnesota are less than $10,000 in the previous 12-month period. These sellers are not subject to the Minnesota marketplace tax laws, and eBay will not be collecting sales tax on these transactions.

Washington

January 1, 2019

Washington - opens in new window or tab

Iowa

February 1, 2019

Iowa - opens in new window or tab

Connecticut

April 1, 2019

Connecticut - opens in new window or tab

District of Columbia

May 1, 2019

District of Columbia - opens in new window or tab

Nebraska

May 1, 2019

Nebraska - opens in new window or tab

New Jersey

May 1, 2019

New Jersey - opens in new window or tab

Alabama

July 1, 2019

Alabama - opens in new window or tab

Oklahoma

July 1, 2019

Oklahoma - opens in new window or tab

Pennsylvania

July 1, 2019

Pennsylvania - opens in new window or tab

South Dakota

July 1, 2019

South Dakota - opens in new window or tab

South Carolina

October 1, 2019

South Carolina - opens in new window or tab

Items delivered overseas

If you're having an order shipped to an address outside of the United States, local consumer tax and/or customs duty may apply and the parcel's recipient may need to pay these as part of clearing the parcel through customs.

While we've included basic information for some countries here, it's only intended as a guide and is by no means exhaustive. For more information, please check the local tax and customs regulations.

Items delivered to EU countries – Value Added Tax (VAT)

If the item's being shipped from outside the EU, the recipient may need to pay VAT and customs duty. These may not apply if the order's under a certain value, but the threshold varies between countries.

Items delivered to Australia – Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST applies to goods imported by consumers into Australia.

Orders up to AU $1,000
From 1 July 2018, if you're buying an item located outside Australia and you select a shipping address in Australia, eBay will add GST to your total at checkout. The order value (item price + shipping costs) goes directly to the seller as usual, and eBay remits the GST portion to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Please visit the ATO website for more information about the introduction of GST on low value imported goods - opens in new window or tab.

Orders over AU $1,000
If you're buying from overseas and your order is valued at over AU $1,000, the GST is generally collected at the Australian border. You may need to pay it as part of clearing your parcel through customs.

 

Items delivered to New Zealand – Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST applies to most items shipped to New Zealand, and other duties and fees may apply as well. However, you may not have to pay GST and duties if they add up to less than NZ $60.

 

Refunded purchases

If you paid tax on your purchase through eBay and you get a refund for your order, you'll also get a refund for the proportionate amount of tax. For example, if you receive a full refund, you'll get the entire tax back. If you receive a 50% partial refund, you'll get 50% of the tax back. Any refunds processed outside eBay's systems are not eligible for a tax refund.

If you paid import taxes or duty as part of clearing your parcel through customs but you then returned the item, please contact the customs authority regarding a refund of the charges.

If additional tax is applicable on your eBay purchase, you'll see this indicated on the listing page and the tax amount will be shown on the checkout page, before you pay.

Was this article helpful for you?
Related help topics