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John Donahoe
eBay wants users to e-mail senators asking for changes in the legislation

Online auction giant eBay is gearing up to fight the internet tax legislation currently seeking approval in Washington from going into law. The U.S. Senate is set to vote on internet tax legislation today that could institute sales tax for website purchases. Currently, the vast majority of purchases made online have no sales tax added.

Those in the Senate who support the internet sales tax bill say that they will have the 60 votes needed to move ahead with the legislation. EBay CEO John Donahoe has begun e-mailing 40 million eBay users over the weekend as part of a massive lobbying effort to defeat the sales tax legislation.

The legislation that Donahoe wants eBay users to help fight is officially known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. According to Donahoe, this act unfairly burdens small online merchants and the eBay CEO wants users to send an e-mail to members of Congress asking for changes to the legislation.

If the legislation makes it the law, it will compel some retailers to collect online sales tax on orders made from outside of their state border. Current rules and regulations require websites to collect sales tax made on purchases only if the buyers live within a state where the web service has a physical location. The physical location can be something like a warehouse or a retail store.

The legislation does reportedly have an exception for merchants that generate less than $1 million in annual revenue outside of their home state. Donahoe feels that merchants that make less than $10 million in revenue outside their state and have fewer than 50 employees should also be exempt from collecting Internet sales tax.
Below is a copy of the email in full:
Keeping costs down is a priority for any businessperson. That's especially true for people like you—successful entrepreneurs and small businesspeople who know firsthand that every penny counts. But some lawmakers and large retailers want to impose more costs on you by mandating nationwide sales tax collection for your online business, whether you sell through eBay, other marketplaces, or your own site. Are you prepared to collect sales taxes in the more than 9,600 tax jurisdictions across the U.S.? Are you prepared for the potential to be audited by out-of-state tax collectors? These burdens would be the result of proposed legislation. We are fighting on your behalf to prevent this from happening.

Over the years, I've heard repeatedly from eBay sellers like you that expanding Internet sales taxes will hurt your ability to grow, create jobs, and fuel competition that creates value for consumers. That's why for more than 15 years, our company has persistently fought efforts to expand Internet sales taxes and impose new burdens on small businesses.

The threat of Congress passing a bad Internet Sales Tax bill is real. For the first time in over a decade the U.S. Senate recently held a vote on the subject. There was support for some change to the current sales tax rules, but all the details need to be worked out. And make no mistake; the current bills penalize small online businesses. 

This legislation treats you and big multi-billion dollar online retailers—such as Amazon—exactly the same. Those fighting for this change refuse to acknowledge that the burden on businesses like yours is far greater than for a big national retailer. It may harm your ability to grow, and costs jobs, including yours. And if small businesses like yours can't succeed and grow, that undermines competition, consumer choice, and low prices. Amazon, for example, has fought harder than any other company to require all businesses to collect sales taxesonline, while also seeking special tax benefits as it expands its warehouses throughout the country. It's bad tax policy. And it's not fair. 

Proposed Internet Sales Tax legislation that threatens small businesses is wrongheaded and bad. But we can fight this together. The solution is simple: if Congress passes online sales tax legislation, we believe small businesses with less than 50 employees, or less than $10 million in annual out-of-state sales, should be exempt from the burden of collecting sales taxes nationwide. To put that in perspective, Amazon does more than $10 million in sales every 90 minutes. So we believe this is a reasonable exemption to protect businesses like yours from unreasonable tax burdens. That's what we're fighting for, and what big companies such as Amazon are fighting against. 

Please join me and let your Members of Congress know they should protect small online businesses, not potentially put them out of business. Click here to make your voice heard. Your elected representatives will appreciate hearing from you. 


John Donahoe
President and CEO
eBay Inc.

Source: Reuters

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No Jeff
By superflex on 4/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: No Jeff
By superflex on 4/22/2013 10:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
Jeff/John 240/241
What's the difference

RE: No Jeff
By retrospooty on 4/22/2013 12:11:01 PM , Rating: 5
You are definitely right about Ebay, but all that aside, any web based tax like this that passes, is all the more precedent to enact more web based taxes, so any time we can defeat any tax its a good thing. Giving more money to the US govt. wont ever fix anything. It's like giving a Heroin addict another dose... It wont EVER get better until the dosing stops and they learn to deal with it.

RE: No Jeff
By superflex on 4/22/2013 4:34:20 PM , Rating: 4
Dont get me wrong. I dont support another tax grab whether initiated by my State or the Fed. Big retailers (WalMart, BestBuy) are the one supporting this legislation.

I love how congress fails to understand any legislation which involves taxation of the people must originate in the House. That pesky Constitution.

RE: No Jeff
By DT_Reader on 4/22/2013 5:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong on two counts: 1) This bill provides zero more money to the U.S. government. 2) This is not a new tax, it's tax parity between the brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers such as What you are advocating is a repeal of all sales tax and I happen to like my state government and want to keep it funded. This will help that.

RE: No Jeff
By Dr of crap on 4/23/2013 7:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
YOU obviously DO NOT get it.
Please go somewhere else.

But first a question - DO YOU send in your "sales tax" from your online purchases now????

Ways around everything
By inperfectdarkness on 4/22/2013 12:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
Buying from Taiwan or someplace else also skirts the BS taxation laws being pushed. I suspect more outsourcing will occur in the future.

RE: Ways around everything
By StanO360 on 4/22/2013 12:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
They should call it the Move Your Business To Mexico Act. Or the Defend Best Buy Act.

RE: Ways around everything
By superflex on 4/22/2013 4:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
How about New Hampshire based etailers. They would legally have to collect sales tax from customers but the big box retailers do not.

RE: Ways around everything
By KOOLTIME on 4/25/2013 1:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
The loop hole you are referring to includes intl businesses for taxes as well. Foreign businesses doing things in USA pay taxes in order to have a business license in this country. Cant get around that. Just because its shipped from china doesn't mean they don't have a USA business license and pay taxes on it accordingly.

You think that Samsung 60'inch tv in the living room from Taiwan was never paid taxes to by same sung for selling to retailers in the USA ??

Classic example is look at two large online e-tailor's NEWEGG ( California based ) charges taxes due to state laws.
TIGER DIRECT ( Florida based ) doesn't pay taxes due to state laws.

State laws currently conflict and some even over ride federal laws, which is where all the issues arise from over the internet and taxation laws, of whom is responsible for payment.

If you live in a state of non pay, you buy online where does that place you for taxation, or the there side of the fence the business in our out of a tax state, yet you live in a tax state, local states are demanding tax payments if you live in their state, even if you buy online or over seas.

Is the company responsible if they do business in a non tax state - aka tiger direct, or is the person in a tax state, responsible or vice verse, you live in a tax free state, but the online company is in a tax state aka-newegg.

Whom pays the taxes in all these different situations ?? Company or buyer based on where they live ??

Taxation is never a ending struggle of balance for hundreds of years now. If there were some simple clear cut solution, readily available be sure that would have reared its head many decades ago, and been solved already.

By Schmide on 4/22/2013 1:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
but some 3rd party email site.

Note to ebay: Email your own emails! You're a big boy now.

how would this work
By ashford79 on 4/22/2013 1:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
ebay does not sell product. a big portion of what it auctions is private sales. in order to tax them they would need tax ids which would kill private sales. on the other hand the ebay stores are businesses selling through ebay, essentially ebay is advertising and listing for them for a fee.

Tax = Force
By hiscross on 4/22/2013 8:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
For those whom think tax is good, then I ask you this why do you allow someone to take from you what is yours and then do as they please? If governments can't find ways of securing revenue other than taking it from people then what purpose do they server? The certainly didn't stop what happen at Boston. It took them 4 days to find a guy in boat. Ask England how well their taxes have servered them.

out of hand
By sulu1977 on 4/23/2013 2:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
Income tax + state tax + property tax + sales tax + gas tax + capital gains tax + estate tax + ss tax + medical fees.... how many damn taxes do we need to grase this damn corrupt, bloated and wasteful system! A typical worker pays more than 60% of their wages in taxes and fees! At least limit it to 1 or 2 fair taxes and that's it!

Why single out the Internet?
By CZroe on 4/23/2013 11:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
It still bugs me that online sales are considered any different than mail-order/phone sales. Online sales are just mail-order sales with the benefit of not needing a paper catalog or a cable shopping channel to show your wares and no need to call or mail in an order form. The debate should be over taxing out-of-state sales regardless of how the order was placed or if the Internet was involved. Don't threaten to tax one and not all.

Ebay wants help ??
By KOOLTIME on 4/25/2013 12:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
eBay over the years keeps adding to their charge fees systems for business, so they get richer and then ask for help, so they don't gouge even more ??

Ebay Asks Users For Help???
By wadeduck on 4/30/2013 11:57:14 AM , Rating: 2
Big Business is the stability this Country counts on to keep us afloat! Yes they do seem to get their lions share of unfair advantages, but what would this Country be like without them? Would we be better off? After all isn't that our bottom line now in America, what we alone get out of the deal? "It's time that we all need to get a mature life and stand behind this Country to get out of debt"! We can't borrow our way out, and this mentality that thinks we can cheat our way around taxes and helping this Country has just got to go! OK; You want personal reasons to stand behind this Internet Tax Bill? How many of you have been given no service on products that are great deals, but turn out to be defective junk; then you end up losing your hard earned money on your wonderful tax free purchase? With companies like Ebay (that have their own finagled buyer protection program), all that happens when you use their system to report the myriads of tax free swindlers is, you eventually get banned! Why Banned? Because Ebay is not protecting the buyer or seller, but they are solely protecting their commissions. What would happen to all these internet swindlers, and ebay for that matter, if the sellers were to become accountable? We would have more Trustworthy Merchants and Internet Providers to deal with, and we wouldn't be getting hoodwinked by petty thieves hiding behind large corporations that don't care! Support Honest Accountability Folks! Think Deep, Choose Maturity!! (Bravo Amazon)

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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