Income tax

How to Get 2021 eBay Sales Data to File Your Income Tax

In 1789, Ben Franklin wrote that “in this world nothing can be said for certain, except death and taxes”, which still rings true to this day. Some people may find it strange to compare death to taxes, but for many, filing taxes can be a very traumatic experience, especially for those running their own business for the very first time.

The pandemic has pushed many more people into the resale world than at any other time in history, and tax time is right around the corner. For many resellers, this will be their very first declaration as a freelancer or as their own business entity.

One good thing, however, that will come in handy for those reselling on eBay, is the ease of access to all your necessary data. eBay has simplified much of the process and provided easy-to-follow forms and instructions on how to use them. So today I thought it would be helpful to see where you can access and download all of your sales, fees, and tax totals that you will need to file your taxes.

Even if you plan to use an accountant, you will still need access to these totals. All the information you need is now in your seller hub under the Performance tab.

Once you’re on the Performance tabjust click Sales on the left side of the screen, and you will be able to select your sales data, depending on how long you want to view. It can be searched by day, week, month, and year, making it easy to see all of your yearly numbers at once.

This is a big improvement over previous years, which required you to download many different documents from various places, which could also include the need to download some reports via PayPal. Now, fortunately, everything is in one place.

To view all data from previous years, simply select Last year then click on the Generate report button. This will produce the report, which can also be downloaded to a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or any other spreadsheet application you use.

One thing everyone should be aware of is that some of the totals displayed on eBay may be slightly different from what your downloaded spreadsheets may show. I found a few totals that were $20-$30 between the online version and the downloaded version. From what eBay has stated, the documents uploaded are all correct. The online version may simply have delayed information that has not yet been counted in the report.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the ID names and column headings for some of your totals may have changed since last year. You can find a list of all the changes here on the eBays Hub breakdown page under the section Reports on sales and sales expenses details.

Any changes should also be fairly easy to understand, as (in most cases) the new names or titles make a lot more sense than what eBay used in the past.

eBay’s new Sales Report does a great job of breaking down all aspects of your sales. It also includes a lot of never-before-seen information, such as repeat buyer percentages, so it’s much more useful than for tax purposes.

If you scroll further down the sales report, you’ll see a breakdown of all your expenses. Totals are separated by type of expense, such as shipping labels, store charges, final value charges, etc. The downloaded version also breaks them down into columns, so you can easily get the total you need. The expense breakdown is a big step up from eBay’s previous attempts.

I found it strange that some of the failures found in the online version were reported slightly differently on the downloaded version, but it was quite easy to figure out the information needed. There are two different columns on the downloaded version that you need to be careful with.

A column titled: Shipping and handling fee paid by buyer for youand another column titled: Cost of shipping labels (amount you paid to buy shipping labels on eBay), may be confusing to some. This is because eBay shows both what the buyer paid you for their tags, as well as what you paid for the tags yourself. These numbers don’t need to match at all. The number that counts for tax purposes will always be the amount you paid for tax, as this will be the total amount of the shipping label you actually purchased.

The only other form you would need would be a copy of your 1099-K form, which is easily found under the Payments tab of your hub. In the Payments tab, you can either click on Taxes on the left side or click on the highlighted header to instantly pull down the report.

So whether you pay an accountant to do your taxes or plan to do it yourself, the process of collecting the required data has never been easier than it is today.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is intended to assist sellers in obtaining information they may need for tax reporting purposes and is not intended to offer tax or legal advice.

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Don Heiden

Don Heiden
Don Heiden is a 30-year veteran of online resale dating back to the days of Yahoo Auctions. He is running The Auction Professor YouTube Channel post videos and content on various resale platforms and topics, and he is a member of eBay, Amazon, Hip and other affiliate programs where he can earn commission when he links to products on these sites. It is also found on most social networks under the same name, including Instagram. He is also a published professional artist which includes work produced for The Walt Disney Company. He holds an associate’s degree in designing, building, and administering database networks. He also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in research and communication from the University of Toledo.