back to article eBay cops $3 BILLION tax bill after moving its profits back onshore

Online tat bazaar eBay has copped a $3bn tax bill after bringing $9bn of cash held overseas back to the US. The firm hopes to use the remaining money to fund potential acquisitions at home. The firm announced as part of its first quarter earnings that it had paid a discrete tax charge of around $3bn to bring the cash pile back …

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Anonymous Coward

Don't worry

Just make it a couple of quid to list, raise the final value fee to around 25%, force P&P to be offered free, force everyone to use PayPal only, make it a couple of quid minimum charge per transaction and raise the PayPal fee to lets say 10%, then always find in the buyers favour each and every time there is a case opened, fraudulently or not, and prevent sellers from leaving anything but positive feedback That should bring the pennies rolling back in. Glad I left that steaming pile of shite probably ten years ago now.

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Time to buy shares in US internet companys

Sounds like they are buying something of high value in the US.........

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Explains a lot.

No wonder they're shafting sellers even more than they usually do. The new TSR rules coming into force in August punish sellers who reclaim fees when idiot buyers buy things without reading the descriptions or idiot buyers buy the wrong thing then file a "not as described" claim.

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Re: Explains a lot.

Can't blame people who want to return stuff that they don't like.

All retail outlet allow that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Explains a lot.

Hahahahaha! I take it you've never actually dealt with a scamming buyer.

You are either going to have not had the item returned, just a "not as described" claim filed, money refunded. If you persist, you might get something sent to you, which may resemble what you sent, just now smashed up.

Another classic is for the scammer to ensure that the package doesn't get delivered, files a claim for non-delivery (and gets awarded their money back) then collect parcel from depot.

Usually what happens is you end up with no sale, a shipping cost, and no item. If you can pull that off with a retail outlet, I'm very impressed. It's the equivalent of spending up large on stuff on your credit card, then when home with the goods, claiming your card was nicked.

There are a list of countries whom I don't ship to, due to problems with large amounts of scammers, failed deliveries, dodgy customs and other such "double loss". Italy and UK top my list.for Europe, the ability to just flat out win buyer disputes by filing for action fraud and keeping the stuff.

Since the police are useless at any crime involving any level of paperwork (which is why fraud is the thinking criminals method of choice) the only effective way I found of shutting down the scam buyers is to send them low grade speed or coke in the mail. Nice leaky package.

For all the slagging off about bitcoin, if some Russian, Italian or British person wishes to buy something from me, then payment that is quick and non-reversible means I'll actually try to ship them things, rather than just say your country is full of scabs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Explains a lot.

"Italy and UK top my list.for Europe"

Italy and Greece perhaps - the UK is near the bottom for European fraud for me (expensive items like high end car audio)

The USA wins hands down for buyer stupidity though.

"Another classic is for the scammer to ensure that the package doesn't get delivered, files a claim for non-delivery (and gets awarded their money back) then collect parcel from depot."

That would be your fault for not requesting the parcel returned when a claim is raised then. All good couriers will immediately return to sender on request.

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Flame

Re: Explains a lot.

Hahahahaha! I take it you've never actually dealt with a scamming seller!

Had the misfortune to purchase a camera and lenses from someone who claimed they were "clean"'; they were not. Seller claimed the lens diaphrams were clean and not oily; another lie. I had to send the whole lot back at my expense and then make sure I didn't post negative against the shyster so they didn't ruin my rep.

Pot, meet kettle.

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Paris Hilton

Tee hee @ ...

... land of the free?

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WTF?

Wot, no comments...

...on how they actually PAID some tax this time?

Wow.

I'd have thought congratulations were in order for a large multinational corp actually contributing to society for a change by paying tax - even if they did do it in the USA, rather than over here in Blighty.

Now, can more of them follow suit, but over here, please?

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Re: Wot, no comments...

I think all countries where eBay does business should be entitled to a share of that tax bill. We paid the money that made their profits, so it is only fair that the tax due on that money returns to help the national debt. And before someone says we already get the VAT to help the national debt, I remember reading a story where it was discovered that Amazon were charing customers in blighty the 20% VAT rate but paying the money to Belgium at only 10% thus making a nice additional profit on the VAT. I find it difficult to believe that eBay won't have followed suit.

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Re: Wot, no comments...

The current Belgian VAT rate is 21%. Do Amazon get a reduced rate somehow?

I completely agree with your sentiment, but the Cambourne government is far too supine to do anything to upset the US.

I'd have a lot more respect for UKIP if they explained how we were going to be independent of the US as well as the EU, but I've seen nothing from them yet to suggest that they don't simply intend swapping our control by two superstates for control by the one that happens to be furthest away.

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@Roger Stenning - Re: Wot, no comments...

> I'd have thought congratulations were in order for a large multinational corp actually contributing to society for a change by paying tax

So that's *some* of the money they should have paid in tax.

What about the rest?

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Re: Wot, no comments...

I think the reason people aren't patting them on the back for it is because they're only doing it out of necessity - if they want to buy a US company, the money used to do so must be brought into the country first.

JassMan: Ebay and all US companies do pay taxes in other countries, the "offshore money" you hear about them having has already been taxed overseas and those taxes can be deducted from the taxes due in the US when they bring it in.

Of course, given all the games they're able to play with Ireland and "Dutch Double Sandwich" sometimes that money hasn't been taxed very much in whatever country you live in, but that's an issue you need to take up with your government. They make the laws, and if companies are avoiding taxes in your country on profits earned in your country, they need to rewrite those laws so that doesn't happen. But they're afraid to in many cases because they believe it'll chase those who can avoid doing business there at all to other countries with more lax tax laws.

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Re: Wot, no comments...

It is Luxembourg, where the VAT rate on e-books is 1.5%.

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Re: Wot, no comments...

Most of that money was stashed in places like the Caymans where they hid it to avoid taxes.

The problem is that international Tax Policies haven't caught up with companies ability to Sell something in the USA or Britain and somehow have the Payment end up "Untaxable" because the Cash ended up in Lichtenstein.

The money they moved back to the USA is a drop in the bucket compared to what they still have sitting on a beach somewhere working on it's "Tan".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot, no comments...

"if they want to buy a US company, the money used to do so must be brought into the country first."

Really? Would have thought they'd do what Apple do, which would be to take out billions of dollars worth of debt secured against their stock and then pay for things using that loaned money, with the offshore cash used purely as collatoral.

Must be something really wrong with the strength of their stock if they don't think this is possible, and need cold hard cash upfront for acquisitions instead. If I had any eBay stock, I'd be dumping it right about now...

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Re: Wot, no comments...

EBay already has over $6 billion debt, if you check the relative DSCR of Ebay vs Apple you'll understand why it was a better deal for them to bring cash in rather borrowing against it. Apple got an interest rate of 0.77% above what the US government borrows at, Ebay couldn't come close to that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wot, no comments...

Bullshit, this is the way the US Tax laws work, you only pay US taxes when the profits are remitted to the USA; they would pay any applicable local taxes at the time.

The EU quite specifically has laws that make it LEGAL to conduct business out of one member state and companies can chose which state they wish to be based in. They must have an actual presence, but that's the law as written, should those companies NOT obey the actual laws ?

And eBay's main contribution to society is the service that they offer that millions of people use by choice. If people didn't want that service, they wouldn't use it, therefore it is of value to those people and to society. eBay itself doesn't actually pay any tax anyway, tax is paid in some proportion by the employees, owners, and customers. If you want to pretend that the "company" pay taxes go ahead, just be prepared to pay higher fees to fund that tax and pretend that those higher fees aren't the tax. You, muggins, pay that tax whether you like it or not by choosing to use the service.

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they didn't bring it back yet

Saw a (too lengthy) interview with Ebay CEO this morning and he said time and again they haven't done ANYTHING other than give them the option to "move quickly" in the event the want to bring $$ back. They haven't brought anything back and they don't have to pay any new taxes unless/until they do.

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Paris Hilton

Okay - downvote me

I consider taxation as a immoral, evil and the product of Satanic minds forever seeking to sup the blood of decent and honorable people for the sake of personal pecuniary advantage.

In other words taxation as a moral good has been usurped by the greedy.

I rest m'case m'lud

Taxation could be robustly moral and for the common good but way tis done now motivates this rant

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Okay - downvote me

You are a contractor. That's the sort of thing they spout in lieu of doing any work.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Okay - downvote me

And you are a permie. That's the sort of thing they write in lieu of stopping moaning, getting off their asses and going contracting.

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Joke

Re: Okay - downvote me

Done.

What?!? You did ask.

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WTF?

Clever people in charge?

"If you look at our last 15 acquisitions, my guess is ten have been inside the US, maybe 11," chief exec John Donahoe said in an interview.

Seriously? He's the CEO and he's not too sure which companies he's bought?

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