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Sellers must add eBay GST tax codes for sales to Australia

By Chris Dawson August 28, 2018 - 3:00 pm

If you’re selling to Australia then there’s an important change you need to know about. eBay have started collecting GST (Goods and Services Tax – the equivalent to UK VAT) on all sales to Australia. There’s nothing that sellers need to do, eBay will automatically add 10% to cover the GST for any item is located outside Australia where the buyer selects a shipping address in Australia.

eBay will add GST to the order total at checkout. You’ll receive payment for the order value (item price + shipping costs) as usual, and eBay remits the GST portion to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The question that sellers have been asking is how Australian customs offices will know that the GST has been paid and will be remitted by eBay. We can now reveal that eBay are asking sellers to manually add their Australian Business Number (ABN) and a customs code to packages where GST has been collected. An ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies a business to the Australian government and community.

eBay ABN and Customs Code

eBay’s ABN # 64 652 016 681
Customs Code: PAID

eBay say that later this year they will automatically insert their ABN and Customs code into the buyers shipping address. Until then however you’ll need to remember to do this manually which will be a pain for smaller sellers who will need to manually cut and paste or physically write the code onto packages and an even bigger pain for larger sellers with automated systems and multiple pickers and packers as they will have to intercept all eBay shipments for Australia and add the text. This applies for all orders up to AU $1,000.

Failure to add eBay’s ABN and Customs Code could result in buyers being double charged for GST, so this is definitely something you’ll want to make your shipping team aware of.

  • Emily
    4 weeks ago

    Excellent idea. When is this being rolled out to the UK by eBay?

    • Simon E
      4 weeks ago

      If you mean the Aus GST tax, then 1st July 2018.
      Maybe there’s a grace period in place.

      http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/201807.shtml#2018-07-04173358

    • Simon E
      4 weeks ago

      If you meant for ebay to collect tax for UK government, then it would be a complete balls up. Just like brexit.

  • northumbrian
    4 weeks ago

    easy answer to this is to use ebays global shipping service

  • nick
    4 weeks ago

    we had to get this information from ebay back at the beginning of July.
    unfortunately ebay didn’t have the information and they had to call us back with the details – was never provided by email or letter and was just dictated over the phone.

    but it does seem to work – and no one so far out of our Australian customers has been double charged yet.

  • nigel
    4 weeks ago

    hey i just found in my transactions that im paying gst on my items i buy online i didnt authorise these withdrawals from my account and was not told i was going to be taxed on any imported item by your or the government this is wrong, its only the fact that i saw the price of my purchase and saw at the bottom was tax this is not on a third party withdrawal that i can not claim back if i had too

  • stephen
    4 weeks ago

    “Later this year” – er… why not now when its affecting buyers and sellers or when the GST was introduced? I’m sure with ebays tech resources it doesn’t take months to add the info into their database tables…

  • Isla
    4 weeks ago

    Does this apply to items that are zero rated for vat in the UK? For example what happens if I get an order for child’s jacket with is zero rated?

  • Phil
    4 weeks ago

    Just to confirm it’s eBay’s ABN number we put on the parcel on the address label? We don’t get our own individual one as an eBay seller?

    I wonder whether it’s worth me as a seller mentioning the 10% to my buyers or will eBay be contacting Australian buyers themselves to notify them on the new changes – some will probably be unaware they are being charged the 10% GST?

    • Simon E
      4 weeks ago

      Yes, I believe that everyone uses the same reference.
      ===
      eBay’s ABN # 64 652 016 681
      Customs Code: PAID

  • Simon E
    4 weeks ago

    Is it just my mind or have I spotted a loophole.
    Just say for example, someone runs a website.
    Instead of their customers getting charged this wonderful tax, they COULD just pretend and write Ebay’s reference on the packet and their buyer saves a bit of money.

    Very Hi tech, I know, but just sayin B-)

  • northumbrian
    4 weeks ago

    as long as we get our dosh we dont give a flying ferret what Australia or ebay do

    • Simon E
      4 weeks ago

      What about a flying Koala or Kangaroo, or is that classed as racist.

  • Jonah
    4 weeks ago

    It won’t make any difference in the end, on-line sales to Australia will just dry up. We sell antiques, three of our valued Aussie customers have already told us they won’t be buying any more.

  • Martin Proudeuropean
    4 weeks ago

    Simples, just run off a sheet of labels, and stick one on the parcel every time. But as Simon E says, looks easy for someone else to defraud.

  • Jake Stride
    4 weeks ago

    It’s quite early marked at checkout for us Aussies and we all know it’s been coming. UK stuff is still cheaper even with the 10% and arrives faster than stuff brought in Australia.

  • Terry
    4 weeks ago

    Australia is my 2nd largest export market, I have noticed a dip in sales since this was introduced.

    I note in the article that you say ‘E-Bay are asking sellers to manually add…’, have they actually put this in print anywhere thus far, because I haven’t seen or found anything ?

    • 4 weeks ago

      Terry,

      We’ll try and seek out more information for you and doubtless will write about this again soon in any case.

      Why do you discern that Aussie sales have declined, btw? All theories welcome. 🙂

      Dan

    • 4 weeks ago

      Hi Terry, I’ve not seen it online anywhere, hence the post to let you know eBay are asking sellers to manually add the information until such a time as they automate it by adding it to addresses.

      The dip in sales could be because whatever price you list at eBay add an additional 10% GST. Difficult to say without knowing more about how you sell – for instance if you list on eBay UK with shipping to Australia with prices including VAT then there’s 20% VAT AND 10% GST added on top.

      You might be better off listing VAT exclusive pricing on eBay Australia and letting eBay add just the 10% GST.

    • Simon E
      4 weeks ago

      I got it when I had a sale to Aus.
      There was a link from the sale on ebay (UK)
      https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/selling-policies/tax-policy?id=4348
      Then clikc “Read our full policy”

      Then click “Value Added Tax for items sold on eBay”

      From there go down to “Items sold overseas (imported or exported)”
      and the text is below.
      As far as I am aware I have never received any notification of the information below.

      =====================
      Items sold overseas (imported or exported)
      Local consumer tax and/or customs duty may apply to goods imported from overseas, and the parcel’s recipient may need to pay these as part of clearing the parcel through customs. These may not apply if the order’s under a certain value, but the threshold varies between countries.

      Contact your local tax office for information about paying sales tax on items exported overseas.

      Remember that you may also have tax obligations in other countries if you are doing business overseas.

      Australia: Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies to goods imported by consumers into Australia.
      Orders up to AU $1,000:
      From 1 July 2018, if an item is located outside Australia and the buyer selects a shipping address in Australia, eBay will add GST to the order total at checkout. You’ll receive payment for the order value (item price + shipping costs) as usual, and eBay remits the GST portion to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

      You’ll need to ensure that you include eBay’s ABN number and the customs code on the package:

      eBay’s ABN # 64 652 016 681
      Code: PAID

      Later this year, these details will be included with the buyer’s shipping address.

      Orders over AU $1,000:
      We don’t collect GST on orders over AU $1,000, as this is generally collected at the Australian border.

      =============================