Enabling Multi-Jurisdiction Sales Tax



Using Tax Tables

How Tax Tables Are Applied


You can create a tax table for a seller for any eBay site for which tax tables are supported. (To determine if tax tables are supported for a given site ID, see Tax Jurisdictions.) Such tax tables specify, on a state-by-state or jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, what tax would be charged for that jurisdiction and whether fees related to shipping and handling are to be part of the total that is taxed.

Sales tax is charged based on the buyer's shipping address (independent of the site from which the buyer buys) and on whether tax is to be paid for that jurisdiction. For example, if the item was listed on the US site, the seller provided tax details for Ohio and Florida but not for California, and a buyer in California specifies a shipping address in Ohio, the buyer will be charged the Ohio tax.

There is an association between a user, a tax table and a site. A tax table can be created for a user on a listing site that supports tax tables. A user can have multiple tax tables (as many tables as there are sites that have jurisdictions and support tax tables). It is the listing site of the item that determines which tax table to apply during the checkout process.

The US and eBay Motors US sites share the same global tax table: changing the table on one site changes it for the other.

After having created a tax table, a seller is offered the choice of charging no tax or of charging tax according to the seller's tax table for that site when listing items.

Jurisdiction taxes are separate from and not related to VAT taxes.

Miscellaneous tax field and tax table details:

Using Tax Tables

The following calls and fields enable multi-jurisdiction sales tax:

TaxJurisdiction.JurisdictionID is typically an abbreviation representing a jurisdiction. For the US site, all JurisdictionID values are two-letter abbreviations consistent with US postal abbreviations. (For example, the value of JurisdictionID for California is CA.) For a list of valid jurisdictions per site, see Tax Jurisdictions.

TaxJurisdiction.JurisdictionID must match one of the valid jurisdictions for that site, as obtained via GetTaxTable. For example, CA is a valid jurisdiction JurisdictionID for the US site while California is not.

Whatever you send to SetTaxTable is considered to be a complete tax table. Thus, if your goal is to modify certain values in the table while preserving others, you must provide details for all. Omitting details for a jurisdiction eliminates that jurisdiction from the tax table altogether. (Note the difference from a function like ReviseItem which retains a value of a field unless overridden.)

Various functions return TaxJurisdiction blocks along with the older fields, SalesTaxPercent, SalesTaxState, and ShippingIncludedInTax. Applications should inspect the TaxJurisdiction blocks for tax information.

How Tax Tables Are Applied

A tax table for a seller and site is a global preference. As such, changes to it take effect immediately. However, changes to such a table do not affect active listings.

When an item is listed, the current tax table for that user and site is applied if UseTaxTable is true (or the single state/rate fields are used if the seller is not a tax table user). Currently-listed items are not affected by changes to the tax table or to tax table policy.

In general, when an item is revised or relisted, the following rules apply:

One exception when revising items is that tax details cannot be changed for active listings that already have bids.

GetItem always returns the tax table originally associated with the item.

When an order line item is created, the order line item is assigned a copy of the tax table assigned to the item.

A Combined Invoice order is a collection of two or more order line items between the same buyer and seller. A Combined Invoice order can be created through the eBay site or through the AddOrder. When created through the eBay site, the order takes on the tax table of the default item, where the default item is the item with which the buyer began the checkout process (e.g. the buyer clicked Pay Now while viewing the item or the buyer selected the first item in the My eBay listing).

When created via AddOrder, no tax table is used; the SalesTaxPercent, SalesTaxState and ShippingIncludedInTax fields are the means by which taxes are specified for all sites.

If no tax information is passed via AddOrder, the order will not charge taxes regardless of any tax information on the individual items.

If a buyer breaks up a Combined Invoice order (for example, to pay for a single order line item), the Combined Invoice order is considered can celled and the order line items roll back to their original tax tables.

With the eBay Web site, it is possible in the Send Invoice flow to specify a different jurisdiction or tax rate than was associated with the order line item (this would modify the tax table on the order line item). Thus, it is possible for a seller's tax table to be different from the tax tables of a related order line item and the Combined Invoice order's tax table.