The following calls and fields enable multi-jurisdiction sales tax:

  • SetTaxTable
  • GetTaxTable
  • The AddItem family of calls: Item.UseTaxTable
  • The GetItem, GetBidderList, GetSellerList family of calls: Item.ShippingDetails.TaxTable
  • The GetSeller/ItemTransactions, GetOrders family of calls: Transaction.ShippingDetails.TaxTable

TaxJurisdiction.JurisdictionID is typically an abbreviation representing a jurisdiction. For the US marketplace, all JurisdictionID values are two-letter abbreviations for US territories and Canadian provinces.

TaxJurisdiction.JurisdictionID must match one of the valid jurisdictions for that marketplace, as obtained via GetTaxTable.

Whatever you send to SetTaxTable is considered to be a complete tax table. Thus, if your goal is to modify certain values in the table while preserving others, you must provide details for all. Omitting details for a jurisdiction eliminates that jurisdiction from the tax table altogether. (Note the difference from a function like ReviseItem which retains a value of a field unless overridden.)

Various functions return TaxJurisdiction blocks along with the older fields, SalesTaxPercent, SalesTaxState, and ShippingIncludedInTax. Applications should inspect the TaxJurisdiction blocks for tax information.

How tax tables are applied

A tax table for a seller and marketplace is a global preference. As such, changes to it take effect immediately. However, changes to such a table do not affect active listings.

When an item is listed, the current tax table for that user and marketplace is applied if UseTaxTable is true (or the single state/rate fields are used if the seller is not a tax table user). Currently-listed items are not affected by changes to the tax table or to tax table policy.

In general, when an item is revised or relisted, the following rules apply:

  • If no tax was originally specified for the item, the item remains without tax.
  • If tax was specified for the item via the SalesTaxPercent, SalesTaxState and ShippingIncludedInTax fields in ShippingDetails.SalesTax:
    • if a tax table exists for the user and marketplace, the tax table is applied.
    • if no tax table exists (or the tax table has been cleared), tax details are unchanged.
  • If tax was applied via tax table:
    • if a tax table exists for the user and marketplace, the tax table is applied.
    • if no tax table exists (or the tax table has been cleared), no taxes are charged.

One exception when revising items is that tax details cannot be changed for active listings that already have bids.

GetItem always returns the tax table originally associated with the item.

When an order line item is created, the order line item is assigned a copy of the tax table assigned to the item.

Tax tables for combined invoices

A Combined Invoice order is a collection of two or more order line items between the same buyer and seller. A Combined Invoice order can be created through the eBay marketplace or through the AddOrder. When created through the eBay marketplace, the order takes on the tax table of the default item, where the default item is the item with which the buyer began the checkout process (e.g. the buyer clicked Pay Now while viewing the item or the buyer selected the first item in the My eBay listing).

When a Combined Invoice is created through AddOrder and any of the SalesTax fields are used, the values specified in these fields will override whatever values are currently defined for the order line items, or the values that are set in a tax table for the buyer’s tax jurisdiction.

If a buyer breaks up a Combined Invoice order (e.g., to pay for a single order line item,) the Combined Invoice order is considered cancelled and the order line items roll back to their original tax tables.

With the eBay marketplace, it is possible in the SendInvoice call to specify a different jurisdiction or tax rate than was associated with the order line item (this would modify the tax table on the order line item). Thus, it is possible for a seller's tax table to be different from the tax tables of a related order line item and the Combined Invoice order's tax table.