General Question

gondwanalon's avatar

Do you think that it is outrageous that a State taxes the shipping cost of an item bought on eBay?

Asked by gondwanalon (18178points) 1 week ago

Item cost: $3.50
Shipping cost: $13.48
Tax: $1.83 (a 10.27% tax on the total including shipping)
Total: $18.81

Washington State taxes all items bought on eBay even if the seller’s location is out of state. Now even the shipping aspect of all transactions is taxed.

What do you think about this?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Isn’t America great?

Shipping is considered a service, and we get taxed on services. I took my truck to the shop and they charged me some horrible number per hour for the service, to fix the axle.

About the only services you don’t get charged for are personal (doctor, dentist, barber).

My question is -> why would you buy an item with such an exorbitant shipping charge?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

This is one reason you actually don’t want any Amazon headquarters in your state. The state begs amazon to locate here, they may give free land and special incentives. The state sells it as good for jobs and the economy then proceeds to rape Amazon’s customers in that state with taxes. At least in my state they were not required to automatically charge tax until they put a distribution center here. Everything instantly went up 10%

zenvelo's avatar

There is a real logic to charging tax on shipping, especailly from out of state- it encourages you to shop local and support the store down the street.

Washinton residents prefer that to paying an income tax.

California does not charge sales tax on shipping. We pay an income tax.

gondwanalon's avatar

@elbanditoroso Shipping is very expensive.

@zenvelo If so then why tax shipping for purchases within Washington State? The real logic for charging tax on shipping is revenue collection.

Oh and Democrat leaders in Washington State want a State income tax too.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yes it is outrageous.

I will share a story from Amazon shopping.

I ordered a sewing lamp, and was shipped a sausage cooker instead. I returned the sausage cooker and ordered another sewing lamp. After I returned the sausage cooker my first lamp arrived and I sent it return to sender. Then my second sewing lamp was undeliverable.

I thought that the transaction was complete. Next I was given a $80 bill from U.P.S. for customs charge. I quickly wrote Amazon customer support and got the charge reversed.

Everything worked out, except I still don’t have a sewing lamp.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Welcome to state sales taxes !

Don’t buy things with 4 times the shipping charges as the item !

LadyMarissa's avatar

I seldom pay any shipping charges listed as such. I keep looking until I can get it shipped for free. Yes, I might pay a little bit more for the item, but it will say shipping is FREE!!! Even on eBay I keep looking for the item where the shipper pays the shipping charge. In this case, it would be cheaper for me to pay $6 for the item with free shipping than it is to pay $3.50 with outrageous shipping charges. For this reason, I’ve never noticed that eBay charges tax on shipping. That might be eBay’s way of making extra money. They charge you taxes on shipping & then pays taxes just on the item. You might contact your local state tax department & ask them IF it’s legal to charge taxes on shipping.

Did a little bit of research on this & the Washington State Salex Tax Handbook 2020 states that…
In the state of Washington, the laws regarding tax on shipping and handling are very simple. If the item being shipped is taxable in itself, then the shipping charge is considered taxable.

If the item being shipped is not considered taxable, then the shipping charge is not taxable. If you are shipping multiples items, both taxable and nontaxable items, then you should have two shipping charges fairly divided between the taxable and nontaxable pieces of merchandise, based on the percentage of the charge that is applied to the taxable items. It must also be noted that any shipping and handling charges that are made after the buyer has received the receipt of the goods are exempt from taxes.

kritiper's avatar

It sucks. Here where I am, the city taxes me every month for rental, repeat , RENTAL on the trash carts they provide. Sales tax. UNREAL!

SEKA's avatar

Sounds ridiculous to me

ragingloli's avatar

Why would that be objectionable, beyond you having to pay more?

mazingerz88's avatar

I did a bit of selling on Ebay a few years ago. I don’t mind State taxes. It’s where I live. What I mind is the percentage Ebay gets from my sale. I’m under the impression it’s a lot.

I’m also more wary about shipping costs than any state taxes but I had no choice. Didn’t feel any animosity towards UPS Brown or Fedex which cost 100 bucks at least shipping a fragile and heavy collectible statue.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’ve always wondered how Amazon figured out my state sales tax. It has always been just a little more than I expected. Never thought to add in the shipping cost.

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