Does Online Cross-border Shopping Affect State Use Tax Liabilities?
How 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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- Ballard, Charles L. & Lee, Jaimin, 2007. "Internet Purchases, Cross-Border Shopping, and Sales Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(4), pages 711-25, December.
- 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.
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- Alm, James & Melnik, Mikhail I., 2010.
"Do Ebay Sellers Comply With State Sales Taxes?,"
National Tax Journal,
National Tax Association, vol. 63(2), pages 215-36, June.
- 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.
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