California Sales Tax on Ebay Purchases

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  1. #1 Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
    So I'm in California, and I bought something over the weekend, and the seller charged me sales tax (I know Amazon.com started charging tax on Saturday), but she charged me way too much for my area. Per state law, it's supposed to be based on the zip code of the BUYER not the seller.

    I bought from this seller a few months ago and was charged no tax, so I have no idea if she is actually filing it with the state (someone on here, not sure who, said that sellers should provide some kind of form showing that they actual turn in the taxes they collect).

    Has anyone else bought something and been charged too much tax? Just curious, as it was totally unexpected and added a sum to the bill I wasn't expecting. I'm sure it will take a while for sellers to figure it all out, especially since every city has a different tax rate; very confusing!
     
  2. That sucks about Amazon!

    Amazon has gone down hill in the past year I think. Eliminated prime shipping with subscribe & save.... no prime shipping with beverages.... now sales tax (I know, not their fault but still....).

    They do offer excellent customer service but probably not enough for me to spend as much as I used to.
     
  3. #3 Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012









    And if you were charged an incorrect amount of tax, your seller should

    refund you, don' you think??
     
  4. I messaged the seller, and provided her with a link to the various tax rates for the state (there is a huge document full of them, which is why it's so confusing I'm sure to sellers), and she did agree to refund the difference.

    I also did a search of the forum posts, and found where it was discussed about businesses registering with the tax board to turn in taxes. Such hassles, since taxes were paid when the items were purchased initially by most ebay sellers (i.e. go to store, buy item and pay tax on the sale, resell item--sometimes at a loss) so it's more double taxation, since most people who sell (other than big box sellers I guess) are selling stuff bought retail, not wholesale.
     
  5. Glad she is refunding the difference....
     
  6. If I see a listing that says they charge tax in my state I don't buy from that seller. There are sellers from 49 other states to buy from :coolio:
     


  7. :P Exactly what I was thinking poopsie.
     
  8. Ugh; happened again with another seller. They put the part about collecting sales tax on the shipping tab, and I forgot to look there. It's also not allowed to tax the shipping, but they are doing that as well. This new law is so complicated, and it seems a lot of sellers are just taking the easy way out and just slapping the highest rate in the state on sales and shipping. I guess by the time I've made a few purchases, I will think about becoming a CPA. :smile:
     
  9. ^Or you might need a tax chart for every state....again, you will need

    to ask for the difference... or as someone else suggested, shop in a state

    where there is no tax if that is possible...
     
  10. I did ask for a new invoice, and quoted them the part of the tax code that gives when you can and can't charge tax on shipping. I just signed up as a buyer, not an educator, but that's what I'm becoming, looking these things up for sellers.

    Just seems if you are going to state (on the back page) that you charge tax, that you would know the tax laws yourself, and not have to have the buyer send you the information on what to correctly charge.

    Oh well....

    I did look at the auction and saw no wording about the tax; only today when I saw the invoice, did I notice it's on the shipping tab, not the main auction page. Oops my bad.
     
  11. Sellers should know what they are doing... but with all the changes from ebay

    and taxes always a question, much of this I imagine is just simple guessing..

    sellers probably don't even realize what they are charging..

    many buyers are probably on top of these type of situations & hopefully once

    the seller is made aware, they refund the difference promptly..
     
  12. I'm in California too and I haven't received anything from Ebay telling me what to do as a seller. I'm not a business. I don't have a resale license. Everything I sell has had the sales tax paid on it already. People don't charge sales tax when they have yard sales, as long as they don't have too many per year.

    In California, you are supposed to report items that you bought out of state on your income tax return so you can pay California use tax on them.

    I've seen sellers refuse to sell to people in their state because of sales tax. I wonder if I need to do that.
     
  13. You have to be registered with the state you live in as a reseller/business in order to charge tax and you can only charge the people in the same state. In order to charge buyers from other states, you need to have a presence in that state.
     
  14. I just sold something to a buyer in California and I'm in California. I don't have a resale license. I can't tell if I am in violation of the law if I don't charge sales tax. The item is used so the tax has already been paid on it, but I don't have the original receipt proving that.

    California law says that anyone who makes 3 or more sales per year for substantial amounts has to get a seller's permit and charge sales tax. I don't know what a substantial amount is. What if I make many sales but less than 3 are in California? Does that make me exempt?