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Do eBay Sellers Comply with State Sales Taxes?

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Author Info

  • James Alm

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Mikhail I. Melnik

    ()
    (Department of Commerce, College of Business Administration, Niagara University)

Abstract

The rapid growth in online commerce has harmed state sales tax bases. However, the extent of this base reduction is difficult to estimate. In this paper we collect our own data from eBay.com on a "representative" commodity classification and a "typical" day. Our data consist of nearly twenty-one thousand eBay listings generated by over seven thousand individual sellers with over ninety-three hundred buyers. We find that overall eBay seller compliance is quite low but that compliance by established sellers is significantly higher. Given that established sellers account for the bulk of online commerce, the estimated revenue loss from eBay seller noncompliance may be relatively small.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1106.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1106.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1106

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Related research

Keywords: online commerce; sales taxes; nexus; tax evasion;

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Cited by:
  1. James Alm & Keith Finlay, 2013. "Who Benefits from Tax Evasion?," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 43(2), pages 139-154, September.
  2. James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2012. "Does Online Cross-border Shopping Affect State Use Tax Liabilities?," Working Papers 1206, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  3. James Alm, 2012. "Measuring, explaining, and controlling tax evasion: lessons from theory, experiments, and field studies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 54-77, February.

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