Does Online Cross-border Shopping Affect State Use Tax Liabilities?
AbstractHow does online cross-border shopping affect state use tax liabilities? We collect our own data on actual online cross-border shopping transactions from eBay.com, focusing upon a "representative" commodity classification and a "typical" day. These data allow us to examine the extent of actual online cross-border shopping by buyers, and the subsequent potential impact on state use tax liabilities of buyers. Our results indicate that online cross-border shopping is highly prevalent on eBay, with out-of-state purchases accounting for on average 94 percent of the volume of a state's online purchase transactions. Even so, given the limited volume of eBay- based transactions relative to total sales transactions, the likely impact of cross-border transactions on state use tax revenue streams is negligible, even if we assume full buyer compliance with state use taxes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1206.
Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
online commerce; sales taxes; nexus; tax evasion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-08-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2012-08-23 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2012-08-23 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2012-08-23 (Public Finance)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David Merriman, 2010. "The Micro-geography of Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Littered Cigarette Packs in Chicago," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 61-84, May.
- James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2012. "Cross-border Shopping and State Use Tax Liabilities: Evidence from eBay Transactions," Working Papers 1205, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- James Alm & Mikhail I. Melnik, 2011. "Do eBay Sellers Comply with State Sales Taxes?," Working Papers 1106, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- Tosun Mehmet S & Skidmore Mark L, 2007. "Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: An Examination of Food Purchases in West Virginia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, December.
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