5 min article

Taxes and import charges

When you sell on eBay, you're responsible for complying with all applicable tax laws. If you're selling to buyers outside the US, you should inform them about the potential import charges they'll need to pay when they receive their item.

Sellers' tax responsibilities

You are responsible for paying all fees and taxes associated with using eBay as an eBay seller. For more information on eBay's tax policy and your obligations, see our Tax policy and User Agreement.

Your tax-related responsibilities may include:

  • Paying sales tax on eBay sales
  • Paying income tax on eBay sales
  • Informing overseas buyers about import charges

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of South Dakota - opens in new window or tab in June 2018, which removed the requirement that certain retailers have a physical presence in a state in order for that state to impose sales tax obligations on retailers. Regardless of where you're physically located, if you do business in certain states, those states may require you to collect applicable taxes on your transactions. 

For more information on these new tax requirements, we recommend that you consult with your tax advisor. If you do not have a tax advisor, you may want to reach out to Avalara - opens in new window or tab and/or TaxJar - opens in new window or tab.

Charging sales tax on eBay sales

If you're required to charge sales tax, you can set up a tax table and apply it to your listings. We'll then add the tax to the buyer's total at checkout. You're responsible for paying the sales tax to the appropriate authority.

Contact a tax professional to determine whether you need to charge sales tax on your eBay sales, or if you have questions about any other taxes. We can't provide tax advice or guarantee that our sales tax features meet all tax requirements.

Setting up a tax table

You can specify a sales tax rate for each US state in which you're required to charge sales tax. You can also charge tax on shipping and handling, if it's required by law.

Buyers see your tax rates on the listing page. Once they confirm their shipping address at checkout, we automatically calculate the sales tax amount and add it to their order total.

Here's how to set up your tax table:

  1. Go to Site Preferences - opens in new window or tab in the Account section of My eBay.
  2. In the Payments from buyers section, select Show.
  3. Select Edit in the Use sales tax table section.
  4. Fill in the sales tax rate for any state where you want to charge sales tax. If you're also required to tax shipping and handling in that state, select the Also charge sales tax on S&H check box.
  5. Select Save.

Important things to keep in mind when setting up a tax table:

  • When you list your item you need to indicate that you charge sales tax in the listing form and associate your tax table with the listing.
  • Changes that you make to your tax table won't be reflected in your live listings. You will need to revise any current active listings in order for your tax table changes to apply to those listings. Listing created after you have saved your tax table changes will reflect your tax table updates.

Once you've created your tax table, you need to specify in your listing that you are charging sales tax. Here's how:

  1. On the listing form, check the box beside Charge sales tax according to the sales tax table.
  2. You can open and make changes to your tax table by selecting View sales tax table.
  3. Complete your listing and select Preview listing or Save and continue later.

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 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

Connecticut

April 1, 2019

Connecticut - 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

Prior to the effective date, you should continue to collect and remit tax in these states if required. Additional states will be added to this list at a later date.

Once eBay starts to collect tax in the above states, no action is required on your part, and there will be no charges or fees for eBay automatically calculating, collecting and remitting sales tax. The collection process will apply to all sales, whether the seller is located in or outside of the United States.

When a buyer purchases an item on eBay, and the ship to address is one of the above states, eBay will calculate and add the applicable sales tax at checkout. The buyer will pay both the cost of the item along with the sales tax. eBay will collect and remit the tax.

Sellers are not able to opt out of selling items into the states listed above or opt out of eBay automatically collecting sales tax.

Paying income tax on eBay sales

By law, sellers have to declare and pay taxes on income earned from eBay sales. We recommend checking with a tax advisor to understand your responsibilities.

Informing overseas buyers about import charges

When you sell to buyers outside the US, import fees (including taxes and customs charges) will apply for the country you're sending the item to.

The fees are usually based on the item's price, shipping weight, dimensions, and country of origin, plus any taxes, duties, and fees from the country you're sending the item to.

Buyers are responsible for paying import fees, usually as part of clearing their parcel through customs or when they receive their item. If you offer international shipping, you can't include these costs in the item's purchase and shipping price. Make sure to let international buyers know this in your listings.

Tip
If your item's being sent using the Global Shipping Program, eBay will inform the buyer about import charges and these will be included in the order total at checkout.

Some countries and jurisdictions require eBay to collect import tax from the buyer when they pay for their order. You'll find more details in our Tax policy.

When you list your item you need to indicate that you charge sales tax in the listing form. It's up to you to pay applicable taxes on eBay sales.

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