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Home > Sell > 2009 CRA Information Request for High-Volume Sellers
Announcement

  2009 CRA Information Request  
 2009 CRA Information Request for High-Volume Sellers


  Previous CRA Information Request  


  Court Ruling Documents  
Important information for Canadian members who were high-volume sellers in 2006, 2007 or 2008

In September 2009, eBay Canada received a court-authorized requirement from the Canada Revenue Agency that requires it to release the account information and sales data of Canadian resident eBay members who meet the following criteria:
  • Sales of more than $20,000 and at least 24 sales transactions in any of the calendar years 2006, 2007 or 2008, (irrespective of membership in eBay's PowerSeller program); OR
  • Sales of more than $100,000 in any of the calendar years 2006, 2007 or 2008, regardless of the number of sales transactions.
eBay is only required to release sales information for the year(s) in which a seller met the above sales thresholds.

The member information that will be released for 2006, 2007 and/or 2008 includes: full name, user id, mailing address, billing address, telephone number, fax number, email address, and the selling prices (high bids) of the items.

As you may be aware, this is the second request of this kind that eBay has received from the Canada Revenue Agency. In November 2008, after a lengthy legal battle to defend our members' privacy, eBay was required to reveal the account information of members who held PowerSeller status in 2004 and 2005.

We recognize that this matter is of concern to our members. While eBay strenuously objects to this violation of our members' privacy, we are obliged to comply with the court-ordered requests. If you have additional questions about this situation, you may email CRA_info@ebay.ca.

eBay has alerted all members who are affected by the court order prior to disclosing their account information to the CRA.

We would also like to inform our members that the CRA has put in place a voluntary disclosure program that allows eBay sellers (and any other taxpayer) to come forward and proactively declare revenue to avoid penalty or prosecution. You can find more information about this program by visiting the following page: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/nvstgtns/vdp-eng.html

We finaly want remind all eBay members that they are responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with all laws and regulations relating to their activities online.

Frequently asked questions: 2009 CRA Information Request

General Questions

Has any information already been released to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? No member information has been released to the CRA since November 2008, when eBay was required to provide account information on members who were PowerSellers in 2004 and 2005. eBay members whose information was released received a prior email notification from eBay at that time

What information is the CRA asking for?
The CRA has received a court order allowing it to obtain the following information for Canadian resident eBay sellers who had sales in excess of $100,000 in the calendar years 2006, 2007 or 2008, or a minimum $20,000 in sales and 24 transactions in any of these years: member's full name, user ID, mailing address and billing address, telephone and fax numbers, email address, and the sales information (high bids) of items sold on eBay.

Sales information will only be released for the year(s) in which a seller meets the above requirements.

Who can I contact for more information?
We have set up a special email address for all inquiries related to this matter. Please send us your questions via email to CRA_info@ebay.ca.

I had more than $20,000 in sales in 2007, but had fewer than 24 sales transactions. Will my information be released for that year?
Unless your sales exceeded $100,000 in 2007, you are not affected by this court order.

Why are the terms of this CRA information request different from their last request?
The revised terms reduce the number of members who are affected by the request. Although we still strenuously object to this violation of our members' privacy, we are pleased that fewer members will be inconvenienced this time.

Is eBay Canada obliged to comply with the CRA request?
Yes. The Canada Revenue Agency has obtained a court order that requires eBay to release this information. eBay is obliged by law to comply with it.

What gives eBay Canada the right to release its members' account information to the CRA?
The CRA has obtained a court order that requires eBay to release this information. While eBay strenuously objects to this violation of our members' privacy, we are obliged to comply with the court-ordered requests.

Will eBay Canada contest this court order?
We take our members' privacy very seriously. However, after a lengthy court battle in which eBay sought to defend our members' privacy, the Canadian courts ruled in favour of the CRA. We have exhausted all reasonable means of defending our members' privacy and are now obliged to comply with the court-ordered requests.

This is the CRA's second request for information to eBay Canada. When was the first request and what was the outcome?
In November, 2006 the Federal Court of Canada authorized the CRA to impose a requirement on eBay Canada that we release the above-identified information for people who were PowerSellers in 2004 and 2005. We fought that decision; however, in February 2008, the Federal Court of Canada affirmed its November 2006 ruling in favour of the CRA. eBay continued to vigorously fight against the disclosure of that information through the legal appeals process. Unfortunately, in October 2008, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the CRA, denying eBay Canada's request to maintain the privacy of its PowerSellers' account information and sales data. Consequently, eBay Canada was ordered to release this information to the CRA.

What is the CRA going to do with this information?
We do not know precisely what actions, if any, the CRA intends to take. eBay objects to the disclosure of this information, which it considers a violation of our users' privacy. Naturally, all eBay members are responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with all laws and regulations relating to their activities online.

How will the information be released?
eBay will release our members' information to the CRA in electronic form.

Will I be notified before information about me is released to CRA?
Individuals who are currently members of eBay will be notified via email if their information is subject to release to the CRA. Unfortunately, we are not able to email individuals who are no longer members of eBay.




Revenue and Sales-related Questions

Will the Canada Revenue Agency be able to tell what type of items I sell?
No. eBay Canada will only release the selling prices (high bids) of items sold by Canadian high-volume sellers in 2006, 2007 and 2008, as applicable.

Will the Canada Revenue Agency be able to tell what kind of items I buy?
No. The CRA has not requested buying information.

Will the CRA be able to determine how much money I take in?
The CRA has requested the sales information (high bids) of items sold by high-volume sellers in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Will the CRA be able to see every transaction I've ever done?
No. The CRA request covers only seller information generated in 2006, 2007 or 2008, and only applies to sellers who had sales of more than $20,000 and a minimum of 24 transactions in one of those years OR who had sales of more than $100,000 in one of those years. However, it is possible that the CRA will seek further court orders authorizing information for subsequent years.

Will the information indicate where the buyer in each transaction was located?
No, the information requested does not include buyer information.

Why does eBay retain my information?
We retain your information in order to provide our services, create your membership, and to help ensure eBay is as safe and secure as possible. We are also required by law to retain transactional records for a certain period of time. We strenuously object to being forced to release this information.

What has eBay done to protect the privacy of this information?
eBay takes privacy very seriously and protecting our users' privacy is of the utmost importance.

This is the second round of information request by the CRA. Over the past three years, eBay Canada has vigorously contested the CRA's previous requests for information for 2004 and 2005 PowerSellers in the Canadian courts to maintain the privacy of its sellers' account information and sales data.

In November 2006, the Federal Court of Canada authorized the CRA to impose a requirement on eBay Canada that we release the account information of people who were PowerSellers in 2004 and 2005. We launched a legal challenge to that decision. Despite our efforts, in February 2008, the Federal Court of Canada upheld its November 2006 ruling in favour of the CRA. The appeal of the February, 2008 decision was heard on October 8, 2008. Unfortunately, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Canada Revenue Agency, and consequently, eBay Canada was ordered to release this information to the CRA

I am no longer an eBay seller. Does this mean that my information will not go to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)?
The Canada Revenue Agency has requested information relating to all Canadian eBay members who were high-volume sellers in 2006, 2007 or 2008 with minimum $20,000 in sales and 24 transactions per year, whether or not they are currently active eBay sellers or PowerSellers. It also affects members with sales volumes exceeding $100,000 per year regardless of the number of transactions.

What if I was only a seller for part of the year in 2006, 2007 or 2008?
The request affects all Canadian eBay members who in 2006, 2007 or 2008 had a minimum of $20,000 in sales and 24 transactions during any one of those years, or who had more than $100,000 in sales during any one of those years.

What if I was not a member of the PowerSeller program, or never displayed the PowerSeller logo?
If you were a seller at any point in 2006, 2007 or 2008 with minimum $20,000 in sales and 24 transactions per year, or more than $100,000 in sales during any one of those years, you will be affected by the ruling whether or not you were a PowerSeller or displayed the PowerSeller logo.

I am a Canadian who is registered on ebay.com. Will this affect me?
Yes, this court order affects members registered on both ebay.ca and ebay.com who meet the sales thresholds stated in the order. Site of registration will not impact our disclosure requirements.

I have always reported all of my income. Do I have anything to worry about?
Sellers are responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with all laws and regulations relating to their activities online. Of course, every business and individual in Canada should calculate their taxes fairly and pay them promptly.


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