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Tony Galiani

US Taxes on Overseas Purchases?

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Tony Galiani

I am used to paying local taxes on my train orders when I purchase items from out of state for shipment within the  US to my home state.  However, this week I was looking to purchase a Kato Roundhouse set from Japan via eBay and they added on tax to the purchase.  I was surprised by this and canceled the order.  Just curious to know if this is a mistake or if it is the new normal?

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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bill937ca

It could be eBay under government pressure..  Did you get an item total and then a separate tax figure lower on the receipt page?

Edited by bill937ca

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Tony Galiani

Yes.  The tax was added on at check out.

Tony

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chadbag

 

eBay probably just doing CYA.   Is the seller registered in the US (ie eBay account with US eBay) but shipping from Japan or is the seller a Japanese seller shipping from Japan.

 

 

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Tony Galiani

Japanese seller shipping from Japan.  Kyoto, I believe.

 

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cteno4

Hmm that may be new, I’ve bought from a lot of Japanese sellers and as recently as a couple of months ago and not gotten Japanese gst added to the sale just our local tax added. Wonder if they just didn’t check some box for gst not being assessed on exports.

 

jeff

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bill937ca

What was the shipping? Generally eBay charges Canadian GST/HST on all shipments from the US particularly with the eBay Global Shipping program. . 

 

I just received a shipment from the UK  via DHL and  DHL collected the HST. You can see it on the DHL waybill. There also is an option to pay the import duties on the DHL waybill.    DHL has collected HST on shipments from Japan before. EMS is hit and miss.

 

Which state are you in?  New York? It might be an activist Attorney General or other cabinet official going after DHL, Fedex etc. for taxes from a "non-resident tax base" (i.e. non lection time kick back) just like international mail rates go up faster than domestic mail rates.

 

I would  say this not a new normal, but normal with DHL, Fedex or UPS shipments that are in effect air lifted.

Edited by bill937ca

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Tony Galiani

In this case, the shipping would have been free.  Just the cost of the product plus the add on for taxes.  Since I was on the fence about the item, I did not go ahead with the order.  Not a big deal - mostly I was surprised as I have had a few orders from different suppliers in Japan and this has not been an issue.  I don't mind paying the taxes in general but was wondering if this was actually extra profit for eBay.

 

BTW - Currently I am in North Carolina but who knows for how long - - we may be in Canada soon if things continue to be as crazy as they are here.  My wife is from New Brunswick and talks about going back.  But is a steady supply of Tim Horton's coffee enough for me?  Plus not a lot of opportunities to play jazz up there.

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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disturbman
25 minutes ago, Tony Galiani said:

we may be in Canada soon if things continue to be as crazy as they are here.  My wife is from New Brunswick and talks about going back.  But is a steady supply of Tim Horton's coffee enough for me?  Plus not a lot of opportunities to play jazz up there.


Maybe you need to pick up French Canadian.

What about Quebec? The Jazz Festival is well known.

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Tony Galiani

I speak French, German and  Spanish - but only food:  Himbeer Kuchen mit Schlag, bitte!  Pain au chocolate, s'il vous plait!  Caffe con leche y un pastel, per favor!

 

I think there would be plenty of opportunities to travel and hear jazz but less opportunities to perform.  Oh well - first world problems really.

 

Tony

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chadbag

 

I am guessing it is just an update to the eBay platform to collect taxes since now in the US sales taxes are due for online sales (for sellers who sell more than a certain amount and I am pretty sure they lump eBay in as one seller for that calculation).  The sales taxes are due for the state of the recipient, not the seller.  So I would assume that the sales tax added in this case was the NC tax (easy enough to calculate to confirm).  This is probably just CYA on eBays part or their platform was updated and has no way of "exempting" non US sellers.

 

We can't really compare the US with Canada or the rest of the world where sales tax, or VAT, etc collection  is imposed at a nationwide level or at least collected for each province on a nationwide basis by customs / post office etc.   State taxes are a a state's matter in the US and in general the customs dept or the USPS etc won't bother to be a tax collector.  The e-commerce platforms on the other hand are the "seller" (at least may be counted as that or have platforms that don't differentiate) so they CAN collect the tax at the sale's ;evel.

 

 

 

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cteno4

Sorry I misread Tony’s post, I thought he meant it was japan gst added to his purchase, looks like he means his state tax was added to sale from japan.

 

yes that’s been the case for a while now, ebay is collecting sales tax for purchases from anywhere to more and more states. This is from the court ruling that you don’t have to have a physical presence in a state to collect sales tax on an out of state purchase if the state has its own laws that require the sales tab be collected. I think the state you are in that’s collecting the sales tax does not care where it came from, just that it was out of state and was bought it thru ebay. Ebay is the selling agent and is getting forced to collect the sales tax due to the buyer’s state (if it’s on their list of states they are doing this for now).

 

this started for Maryland last winter and I pay sales tax on all ebay items, including those from japan, China, etc.

 

you can test your state easily by trying buy it now and seeing the invoice and if the sales tax is added for your state (just don’t hit “confirm and pay” button!)

 

same goes for more and more larger online retailers like amazon. It’s interesting that amazon japan is not doing this, I guess there is enough legal separation from amazon us.

 

jeff

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Cat
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

same goes for more and more larger online retailers like amazon. It’s interesting that amazon japan is not doing this, I guess there is enough legal separation from amazon us.


Massachusetts has been able to force Amazon US to collect sales tax because they have offices here in the state.  They don't have any leverage over the foreign Amazons.

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roadstar_na6
2 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

Himbeer Kuchen mit Schlag, bitte!

Why would you hit your cake? Or do you mean "Schlagsahne" (whipped cream)? 😄

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disturbman

I was wondering the same thing. I think it's an Americanism, perhaps derived from some Österreicher. It was in the Collins.

Edit: I also discovered that "schlague" and "schlaguer" were now part of French slang.

Edited by disturbman
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chadbag
30 minutes ago, disturbman said:

I was wondering the same thing. I think it's an Americanism, perhaps derived from some Österreicher. It was in the Collins.
 

 

I'll admit to wondering the same thing but guessed it was some modern slang or colloquial thing I had not heard before.  And I left it at that.

 

 

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brill27mcb

Back to ebay and sales tax - they charge it on both the item cost and the shipping. The latter does not seem fair, and isn't done by other internet merchants that I know of.

 

Rich K.

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disturbman

@brill27mcb Seems to be WAD. Germany does the same thing, I think the rest of Europe does too. I believe they apply VAT on all costs related to the import, if you used the service of a proxy to buy an item, you are supposed to pay VAT on that too. The customs always ask me for shipping cost and if I paid anything else when I go pick my packages at their office.

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cteno4

Rich,

 

collecting sales tax on shipping is a state thing. PA requires you pay tax on the shipping, MD doesn't... Ebay (and others) just do what each state tells them to do under their own state sales tax laws. Here’s a map.

 

https://blog.taxjar.com/sales-tax-and-shipping/

 

in the us a state presence is no longer required if the state sales tax law specifically prescribes sales tax be paid by all buyers. That was what the big bust was a couple of years back with the Supreme Court case over all this and why it’s been moving over to Most of the Internet sellers having to sign on. Most states have a minimum but most retailers go over that fast.


jeff

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Tony Galiani

Back to Schlag for a brief moment .....

We have relatives in two areas of German and they each seem to use different terms for whipped cream so wonder if it is a bit of the local dialect.  Can't remember from which one I picked up the term - need to go back and do the required research!

Tony

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Kiha66

That started in here in CA last year.  If I recall correctly the rules are that a business that does over a certain limit in sales to a state is required to collect taxes for that state.  In this case amazon and eBay both count, as they both easily reach over the one million dollar threshold (the CA value where collecting tax is required).  A smaller business like a train store usually doesn't make that many sales per year out of state, so they usually still are tax free.  Seems more and more states are adopting these rules.

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chadbag
15 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

That started in here in CA last year.  If I recall correctly the rules are that a business that does over a certain limit in sales to a state is required to collect taxes for that state.  In this case amazon and eBay both count, as they both easily reach over the one million dollar threshold (the CA value where collecting tax is required).  A smaller business like a train store usually doesn't make that many sales per year out of state, so they usually still are tax free.  Seems more and more states are adopting these rules.

 

The problem is that Amazon and eBay are not really the sellers for most items.  Amazon only if it says Amazon is the seller and eBay is just the platform.  I say this as a vendor myself because technically I have to report my sales and collect sales tax etc.  (But am small enough to not do enough business to have to collect out of state).  I don't do business on Amazon or eBay (am mostly inactive at the moment actually) so don't know how they work it --- do they remit the collected taxes to the actual seller?  Or do they file them themselves in each state? In which case what does the seller do for his own reports since the sales are obviously on his books...

 

Anyway, with Amazon, I've noticed that some sellers I don't pay sales tax on stuff and on some I do.

 

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