eBay resists taxing new responsibility

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: eBay is fighting the government.

Specifically it's resisting a plan by the Bush administration that it claims forces the company to spill the beans on customers who aren't paying their taxes on money earned on the website.

Eoin Callan is a reporter for the Financial Times. He says eBay feels like its being squeezed.

EOIN CALLAN: What the tax man is asking for is eBay to step in, to share information with the IRS and also to give its customers a heads-up about their tax liabilities. But eBay is refusing to do that. eBay pointblank does not feel it's its responsibility to act as a go-between customers and the IRS.

eBay says it's unfair that the government isn't also going after its competitors such as Craigslist.

  • The Financial Times says the Bush Administration wants eBay to report sellers who make more than 100 transactions a year worth at least $5,000.
  • Estimates are that more than 4 million sellers rely on eBay for a significant portion of their income.
  • The report says as much as $2 billion in taxes could be collected.
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