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New York Sellers: Oppose New Tax Legislation, and Help Protect Online Business Everywhere

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Last Edited 11:34:24 AM

This month, New York state legislators will consider a budget proposal requiring Internet marketplaces to collect and remit sales tax for any transaction that involves a New York buyer. This tax would include out-of-state purchases made from any seller or business, regardless of size.


We strongly oppose this sales tax proposal, and ask for your help in letting legislators in New York and all states know it should be rejected. If allowed to pass, this tax will:

  • Require many of our sellers to increase their prices to cover the extra costs associated with New York sales taxes.
  • Harm the competitiveness of individual sellers and small businesses who sell on marketplaces like eBay.
  • Impose an additional tax burden on used products that are being resold.


If New York passes the proposed Internet Sales Tax, it is possible that other states will adopt similar policies. This would add significant complexity for ecommerce sellers, as they would have to calculate, collect, and submit varying state taxes.


If you live in New York, we urge you to send a simple letter and let your state legislators know that you oppose this and any harmful tax laws that stifle business growth and harm ecommerce. Be sure to act now, as the state legislators will be considering this proposal over the next few weeks.


For years, eBay has worked with the government to eliminate unfavorable tax burdens for small businesses and consumers. Thank you for letting your state representatives know you’re against any legislation that puts the well-being of small businesses at risk. And thanks, as always, for selling on eBay.



I do not live in New York State, however I had my congressman tell me he is opposed to any taxes of this nature as it is taxation without representation.  As a seller I would be obligated to send taxes to someone who will use the money without my ability to vote on its use.  I believe that my e-commerce business is located in the state I live in. I am obligated to my state for taxes. I am too small a business to deal with multiple states and their sales taxes. I would need to quit selling.

by 2015.lohwa · Enthusiast

This is bull **bleep** ... most of the small Hobbyists will make a few dollars selling their crafts will be taxed and then they will have to claim income tax on it as well?? A lot of the crafters are retired and on a limited income as it is ...

by garymi6 · Guide

They do realize that all that will accomplish is ebay sellers either blocking buyers from New York, or with the new system they are implementing to allow sellers to charge different amounts to different areas of the country, sellers will charge more to everyone in New York. It hurts their own people the most.

by garymi6 · Guide

Us east coast sellers like me sell alot to New York. Its just bad business.

by me620324 · Enthusiast

New York is one of the highest taxed states in the country. Now they want to offer free tuition to NYS colleges and universities and need the revenue.  It will force some of the private colleges out of business. The people in NY laugh at and at the same time are angered at the TV advertisement propaganda put out by its inept communist clown governor at taxpayer expense.  He had special signs put up promoting NY on the thruway (interstate) at a cost of several million dollars only to have the federal DOT tell them to take them down because it doesn't meet specifications.  The governor's crownies were charged by the feds for bid rigging associated with NYS building a solar panel factory in Buffalo for 300 million that should have cost 100 million. The kicker is the solar panel company (Tesla) is in deep financial trouble and may not meet its commitments. At his demand the state has issued costly environmental and health regulations with no real public benefits to appease the far left "progressive" deep enders. NYS is the most corrupt, colluding, wasteful gov't in the country.

I am  not from new york , but i agree with  morgansknobuniques4u
 when they say they are opposed to any taxes of this nature as it is          " taxation without representation "
We sellers should only be responsible for sales taxes in the state we live in and can vote in !!!
Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
a phrase, generally attributed to James Otis about 1761, that reflected the resentment of American colonists at being taxed by a British Parliament to which they elected no representatives and became an anti-British slogan before the American Revolution;
by garymi6 · Guide

"New York is one of the highest taxed states in the country. Now they want to offer free tuition to NYS colleges and universities and need the revenue.  It will force some of the private colleges out of business. The people in NY laugh at and at the same time are angered at the TV advertisement propaganda put out by its inept communist clown governor at taxpayer expense.  He had special signs put up promoting NY on the thruway (interstate) at a cost of several million dollars only to have the federal DOT tell them to take them down because it doesn't meet specifications.  The governor's crownies were charged by the feds for bid rigging associated with NYS building a solar panel factory in Buffalo for 300 million that should have cost 100 million. The kicker is the solar panel company (Tesla) is in deep financial trouble and may not meet its commitments. At his demand the state has issued costly environmental and health regulations with no real public benefits to appease the far left "progressive" deep enders. NYS is the most corrupt, colluding, wasteful gov't in the country."


To be fair, that has nothing to do with this bill. Also, just to add, Tesla is hardly in deep financial trouble. Im not sure where your getting your information.


If this passes we would hope eBay would add New York as an "exclusion state" option to their shipping parameters. 

by mark.jenn · Adventurer

I helped out in the political arena back in the 1990's...  It's just greasing the politicians pockets.  Unfortunately, if you boycott New York, the politicians won due to the purchase then would have to be made within the state - what the politicians mean by buying local... This is government overstepping their authority and preventing a free market.  I think this is way wrong and I pay all taxes related to my state (local sales) then why do I have to pay another states tax when I do not benefit by their local infrastructure ie roads, schools, bridges etc.  I hope we don't let this rest.  Back in the 90s we ran a grassroots campaign - lot harder to get the word out - shoe leather express door to door, and going to events with mass turnouts...  This day and age with the internet, it should be alot easier with the means of social media and mass emailings...  If you have a concern if this is going to impact your business email 10 people and have them email 10 people - and this would get the word out.  Then contact congress member and senate members to sponsor a bill to be taxed at what state and local the seller operates out of and not where the goods are received.


Big shock, screw york is at it again, letting Cuomo and his big business chronies suppress the ability of small businesses to compete in any way. Upstate politicians are more than likely going to oppose this tooth'n'nail, but screw york state exists solely for the rats in the big $4itty and upstate winds up with no say in anything. 2 of the biggest rats get sent to jail for these kind of deals and still nothing changes.

If this passes, I urge all small businesses to ban online sales to screw york addresses. Turn screw york into a dmz of online sales, make it national news, make the world see how dictatorial leftists treat their citizens. This country went to war with the most powerful country in the world over a tax on a few items. Keep in mind, that tax was a lower rate than NY's sales tax rate.
Don't listen to the fools who say a boycott won't work, a boycott WILL work when it's the businesses doing it and people can't get their crafting supplies/crafts/unique items/gifts/discounted fashions/collectibles, it will hit all the news outlets, people will see a giant state singling out small business owners, and the rats will be forced to drop the law.

by cool92064 · Adventurer

Just to understand, if this passes, is it going to be like it is here in CA where we need to allocate it to every city within NY or one flat tax to one agency regardless of where they live in NY? If it's like it is in CA (we have to allocate to each "district", of which there are many, and allocating the few hundred dollars done a month here in CA takes me hours once a quarter!), that will be seriously onerous!  

My Dad lives in NY and hasn't mentioned anything but the amount they pay in property taxes is simply absurd! 


OMG!!!!! I just can't anymore. Just yesturday I was ranting to my relatives about taxes. While doing errands i noticed lots of holes in streets of where i live and me having to be extra careful, and I live in the poorest borough that is slowly gentrifying like the rest of the city. I LIVE IN NYC AND IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE, I FEEL THE SQUEEZE ALL THE TIME! This state is too greedy and corrupt, thay waste alot of the taxes, what are they spending the money on? One can only assume where it's going. They keep wanting more and more and more. They even have to run lotteries just to fund the incompentent hellholes of the public school system. State tax, Federal tax, Local tax, City tax, Medicare, SS, Sales tax, Use tax, Tolls for almost all the bridges/tunnels,  High property tax, Gasoline tax, Gift tax, Plus lets not forget the high cost of living & services (the subway fares increasing, food increases, the cost of basic clothes is increasing etc), and now with the post office increasing postage, ebay increasing their fees and now this **bleep**. Another tax! I can't no longer stand living here, I'm really think it's time to move.  I love selling online it lets you escape the rat race and the horrible jobs available and exploitation from loyaless souless companies/corporations who don't care about their employees, the planet, economy and their local communities. I also love buying online A LOT! It's just not fair now that others would block me because of where I live, all thanks to a potential illegal law that  the horrible greedy politicians will like to pass. And the fact that other states might copy like they have done with other laws in the past, it's only a matter of time before the small sellers would be extint from selling online. And the sellers blocking to sell to new york would be affected too, that would mean less sales and the potential that your state would copy this harmful tax. This could be a painful and harmful domino effect for us small online sellers. So please help out and sign this petition! For those who never done it before just click the link in the second to last paragraph where it says "simple letter" and then all you have to do is put your name, adress and email and click the blue button. It only takes a few seconds and no you don't have to write a letter on the link ebay already did it for you. Thank you in advance for those seller and buyers who did join the petition, this New Yorker really apreciates it. 

by cal_man2002 · Scout

Hasn't congress spoken and said unless you have a physical presence in a particular state you are not required to collect sales tax? Let this pass and it will end up and tossed at the Supreme court. I can't help it that its citizens don't comply with their state law and pay sales tax on goods bought out of stats.


The Supreme Court decided against this in the 90s with Quill.  Unfortunately, Justice Anthony Kennedy recently signaled that if decided today, that case might be decided differently. It is LUDICROUS to imagine that states can have jurisdiction over sellers who have absolutely nothing to do with their state and do not benefit from the taxes paid.  But we shall see what our greedy overlords on the Supreme Court may eventually decide.  Perhaps this is a way for states to push the U.S. Congress to enact some sort of national sales tax in which all state would share.


Anything they can tax to take from the poor they go after it now you got to pay tax again on stuff thats already been taxed give me a break.

by mark.jenn · Adventurer

Another insight would be how did Sears start out?  Mail order catalogs...  From way back since I can remember that all mail order items coming from another state was never subjected to state tax..... It just Grubby, greedy handed politicians seeing a cash cow in this day and age and wants to send it to the butcher shop....  I'm a PA resident and follow the natural gas industry and the grubby hand politicians are chomping at the bit to place an extract tax (10%) on a 2.60 cents per BTU natural gas tax at 10%...  This means low producing wells will cease...  The greedy politicians just see money and not see the impact that it has... I just can't see how politicians can look in the mirror and like what they see... I guess the green of money clouds one's a shame


more power and reason to buy from china. No taxes on international and no customs on their "samples".


They asso politiceans only waste the money.  They can not even fix a pot hole in NYC. 

by idealgirlz · Enthusiast

Ebay can play chicken a bit here, sellers can block buyers from NY State,yes, it first will reduce sales, but if the buyers can't buy anything from the internet, this law will go away fast. If this law is passed, then every other state will follow and the internet will be gone as we know it. Years ago, when you purchase an item from a brick and morter store, it would not charge you sales tax if you were out of state unless they had a location in your state. Sellers need to boycott NY for 48 hours as a protest. See how that works for the NY consumer when they have no product to buy..

by woadieland · Guide

We must oppose this. Each of us and all our friends etc. As someone said, tell 10 people, ask them to tell 10.  We need to make it plain to NY State, to the governor, that WE're not doing this, it will cripple our businesses.  Bad enough the folks in NY have to do it. I don't believe any state should be able to force people in other states to collect.

Beth Donahue Cherkowsky on face book

by flem.hans · Rising Star
Rising Star

I have a question

what about seller living outside US

I am located in Denmark and sell some item to NY


There always trying to nickle and dime us to death,you dont solve money problems wirth money you solve them with PRIORITY,pull it together NY!

by wardpro · Adventurer

Actually the ones being hurt the most will be the buyers from New York as the tax will simply be added to the price after the sale, just like it is in a regular store residing within the borders of New York. It's effect on us as sellers will be minimal as the buyer will not realize the tax is due until after the sale. Our job, with maybe a little help from Ebay, will be to remit the tax to New York or to other states on a regular basis.  I wonder really though, since Ebay now has a great number of foreign sellers, e.g.China, just how the program will be enforced. If Chinese sellers do not have to comply, how is Ebay going to allow them to sell.  I think this is the really big deal that Ebay is fighting. The big load will fall on Ebay to possibly collect and remit instead of the Seller.  The constitutional question is one of Jurisdiction over things that occur outside a state and Country, albeit electronic, and will likely be tested in court, however, since Amazon is on board, are we really playing Don Quixote on this proposal and trying to stop a movement that is already in progress.  If we are really are responsible citizens, should we not want to pay legal taxes that are due.  We are enjoying a competitive advantage to sellers in New York at Brick & Mortar as well as on-line.  If the playing field is really leveled, is that not a good thing for everyone, or are we only interested in out bottom line.

by vwaq · Adventurer

I do not live in New York (thank God) and I've already contacted my Congressional representative as well as Senators and Governor of my state to express my disgust for this proposal should it gain popularity around the country with other states. 


As a small business owner In my state, I am required to collect and pay sales tax for sales I make in my home state.  I purchase many supplies from online vendors around the country and my state already requires me to declare these purchases and pay a (use tax). 


In other words, I'm already paying one way or another for everything I buy and sell for my business.


Stupid proposals like this from New York would cause many like me to be double taxed when we buy!! 


I would have to pay "use tax" to my state and then "sales tax" to the state of New York.  This does not help my home state in any way and is devastating to small business owners and ultimately hurts the consumer as these ridiculous costs are passed on to them.


New York already over taxes its own residents to death. Governments always find a way to overspend what it confiscates from hard working people and they always come back looking for more.


It's time to tell New York lawmakers to spend their soda tax money and keep their filthy hands off of the tiny remaining profits  of hard working mom and pop small business owners.


Enough is enough!!


by iamtheborg · Adventurer

Ummm yea...if I don't submit my taxes to NY what exactly are they going to do?   Their police , tax agencies, and any other state agencies have absolutely no authority in my state.  All they could do is black list me so I can't ever visit their state.  I'm prepared to live with that...there's a reason I moved out of NY.  The only way this works is if ebay just adds the tax after the sale and takes it before I see it and like others have said, that only hurts those foolish enough to still be living in NY.


I also do not reside in New York. As others, I am also concerned over the issue of "taxation without representation" in this matter spreading to other states should this pass.

For those interested, there is an app called "Informed American" in which you can select your state, and it will give you all who represent you on behalf of your state.

It also provides all contact information including their social media contact(s).

Hope this helps.

Just one of the many reasons so many people across the country despise New York. They want to spend money they don't have on projects most people don't want. They want to tax people from out of their state to pay for their mishandling of money and projects that cost 10 times the price that they should. I do not live there, and should not have to pay taxes for a state I do not live in, nor should anyone else! That is the true definition of taxation without representation. I personally do not understand how it is legal for them to tax someone in another state. I would think that's not even legal. If anything, that tax should be assessed to the buyer within that state. Most people and small businesses work on very small profit margin as is, and this tax would hurt them and possibly put a few people out of business. On top of that, New York wastes money left and right, and will waste the new taxes as well. All around this is a bad bill. No more new taxes! It hurts the people inside NY, and the NY legislature has no right to tax people that do not live in that state. No state has the right to tax someone outside of their borders!

Something like this has passed already in Arkansas I believe. It's coming I'm afraid. There's too many broke and hurting states out there that have been mismanaging local taxes for way too long. 

It is not really "taxation without representation", in that sales tax is a tax to the buyer, not the seller. It is paid by the buyer, but the states expect the seller to collect and remit the tax. I believe it is something that is going to eventually happen in all states, but I also believe that ebay will develop a way to make it easy for the seller to comply. You know how they made it so easy to ship items now with just the click of a button? You used to have to do it all manually. I expect ebay to develop the technology for sellers to be compliant without all the hassle, just like they have automated everything else. This actually puts us internet sellers on a more level playing field with brick and mortar stores. Also, buyers who buy online are required to pay use tax on the purchases where they did not pay sales tax. I know nobody does this, and this is why the states are trying to do this so they can get their taxes. It is not just New York, and it is the future. (Not discounting what people are saying about the crooked politicians at all, though!)


Hmmm. Not living in New York, how would one feel about being required to collect taxes

"for them" and for their use? By collecting a tax basically "on their behalf" though one does not live there (nor is the product being purchased located there) and then remitting it for their use, I can still see the argument of "taxation without representation" applying.

After all, if one were to sell to a New York resident, and the product being purchased is not located within that state (yet the tax money collected would be for their use), how is that right?

by josephpr · Adventurer

I don't like to pay sales tax. Nobody likes to pay sales tax. But as more and more business goes on line, it will need to be a place for sales tax to be collected. The arguments that  "it's too complicated" are simply disingenuous. If ecommerce and payment sites can figure out how to micro-market advertising to me, it should be simple to handle sales tax collection (especially since states are willing to streamline their tax schedules to accommodate this).


The reasons for not changing tax collection rules may have made sense at one point, but no longer. For those who argue "no taxation without representation" - try avoiding a hotel tax with the excuse that "but I don't live here". In states that have a sales tax, you are supposed to take care of this on your state tax return. Obviously, there has always been a compliance issue with this. Would the "no internet sales tax" crowd be happy with Amazon/Ebay turning over data to state tax authorities so  they can enforce compliance?


As times change, tax collection rules will as well. And they should.

by pete-zerb · Rising Star
Rising Star

whatever you require i'm in

by vwaq · Adventurer

Someone made the comment earlier that this is not "taxation without representation" because sales tax is technically paid by the buyer.


I couldn't disagree more, and I stand by what I previously said, that this is double taxation to the seller and extremely harmful to the consumer and the economy as a whole.


As a seller in my state and in most states, you are required to charge sales tax and submit to your home state for sales made within your state, whether at a brick and mortar or online.  This is technically charged to the buyer and collected by the seller.


As a seller, when you buy goods from an out of state vendor, you are required to declare and pay "use tax" to your home state.


Anytime you sell anything, anywhere you are required to declare and pay something called "income tax" to the IRS.


The position of the states is that an online sale takes place at the place where the sale occurs, which is the home state of the (the seller), eventhough its online.


How can New York impose a sales tax on a buyer in New York who's buying from an out of state seller, when the sale doesn't even take place in the state of New York? 


This New York proposal would cause an out of state seller to charge and remit a new sales tax to the State of New York for a purchase made online in another state, it's preposterous. 


How about if you're a vendor in New York?  You're already required to pay a "use tax" for anything you buy out of state online.  With this proposal, you would now also be charged a sales tax.  Again, double taxation and who ultimately carries the burden for these extra taxes?  The consumer.  More taxes equals less sales, reduced prices with less profits, lesser ability to hire and buy goods, and more tax revenue for the Govt. to overspend and abuse, no thank you.


So again, how are the interests of vendors in other states being represented by the State of New York?  I believe the of claim of taxation without representation still applies.




I'm not personally a "no internet sales tax" individual. What I believe is that sales tax *should* be collected for sales made within the state that the item is located, no exceptions.

As for them "turning this over", why would that be an issue for someone who would follow the laws? It certainly wouldn't bother me as I would intend to follow the law.

This issue here is additional laws being added in the collection of taxes on an item purchase by someone outside of where, in fact, that item is located.

As for hotels, I believe the tax laws have always covered where one is seen as "residing" (regardless of duration of time). Otherwise, the situation you described wouldn't exist. Paying for a place to reside (however temporary) and purchasing an *item* are two different things. One is a service. The other is an object intended for the consumer's ownership/use.


Also, I would like to add that, while exploring the legal/tax side of becoming a seller, I have found a vast offering by typing in  "ecommerce automated tax services".

Whether eBay decides to offer solutions to this issue within site or not, there are services already available to address this. As this area is their "forte" and what they specialize in, I have no doubt that, upon the enactment of any tax law changes, they will be included.

Depending upon the service you choose (& the level/"package" within that service), some will not only figure accurately the amounts owed but will file it for you so that you can remain current, in compliance, and not miss any crucial deadlines.

Most feature the ability to "tie in" with various services (including PayPal accounts) to "do the math" and such for you. Just throwing that out there for any/those interested.

They wonder why NYers move to Florida,,,,

The goverment of the state of NY works for the taxpayers of NY.  See how your Rep Votes, and vote him out next election. This is all coming, and counties in certain enviroments will later reduce local sales tax and up out of state sales taxes. These are times of politicans, not statesmen and they plan ahead to condition and soften blows to the public. It was July 1972 here in California when the state goverment imposed the gasoline tax, gas was only 28 to 35 cents a gallon so the percent did'nt seem to matter. Well you all know what came down the pike in the next couple of years. What is the tax per gallon in Ca? Gotta be 50-60 cents a gallon-Oh ya and while collecting all that dough they managed to have no means of  water in storage for this state. I know most are familiar with Blade Runner & Minority Report those PKD works show futures still a ways away. Ebay and others might offer foreign or early editions of "The Man In The High Castle" by PKD - if you wanna look at the next few years, taxes and death. Also someone thought they would not be forced to pay - AH they will damage your credit, have a local law firm lean your property. Give your state a percentage for collecting it for them, what a clusterlove-

by don_quan · Adventurer

If this passes & other states adopt it. It will be te end of small time sellers as we know it! It's time for Ebay too step up their game for the small time sellers that made them what they are! Or it, will be the end  Ebay also!

by tan-tom · Enthusiast

I was a resident of New York 50 years of my life and one of many reasons for leaving was taxes. THIS is clearly Taxation without Representation which is what this country was founded upon. If I am to collect taxes for another state then I should be allowed to vote in any State election.  This also applies to Amazon, who for years fought against the collection of out of state taxes and then did a reversal. That's why I do not buy on Amazon anymore. Let’s hope Ebay continues to fight this. By the way the link for "A Sample Letter" in Ebays post no longer works. I had intended to send it to all my New York friends who participate in EBay and may have missed this. Thanks for reading. Tan-Tom

by atvguy · Adventurer

I live in buffalo,ny, and i am totally against this tax proposal.  Most of the ebay users here earn zero dollars per hour, that's right the minimum wage on ebay is $0.00. Also we take all the risk when we buy items and try to resell, what if you can never get what you paid? Also ebay and paypal fees end up being 14% total combined, so if we add 8.00% sales tax, that adds up to 22% of the selling price of your auction getting skimmed off the top and you get what's leftover. And we all knw it takes about ten minutes if not longer, plus however long it takes to do reasearch, for each item that we list. Iv'e spent countless hours trying to research info on items in the past. Used items were already taxed, how many times do you need to tax them, and ebay and paypal pay tax on thier profits. The rich get richer, poor gets poorer, and ny state is like bully's trying to steal your lunch money!

by fam1942 · Pathfinder

N.Y. wanted also taxes in all garage sales of used items?????


NY why dont you come up with a tax to get rid off the trump disgrace?. I am sure the whole nation will donate tons of dollars. 

NY legislators "LIFE IN PRISON"


This is just the beginning. Sooner or later every state will be doing this and combined with future eBay fee increases many of us will be wondering if sustaining an eBay buisness is even worth it. Internet sales tax needs to be opposed at every oppertunity regardless of the State. 

Rising Star

 With high price shipping cost, add the New York tax and I'm out of the game.