While eBay vendors have traditionally espoused a ‘yard sale’ mentality about their online buying and selling activities, at least one government is taking a more formal stance.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which handles all of the country’s federal customs, excise and income tax business, is demanding personal information on eBay Canada ‘power sellers’ — those whose income from eBay activities exceeds (C)$1,000 per month — to help determine if those individuals are duely reporting their eBay income for tax purposes.

The CRA is acting on a Federal Court of Appeals ruling last April ordering eBay Canada to release the names and sales figures of power sellers as part of an investigation that began in 2006 into those vendors’ tax returns for 2004 and 2005. EBay fought the CRA ruling all the way to the Court of Appeals and ultimately lost.

“While eBay strenuously objects to these requests made by the [CRA], we are obliged to comply with the legal ruling,” eBay said, in a recent letter to vendors who fall into the ‘power seller’ category.

Recent estimates suggest that about 32,000 Canadians make all or part of their income from eBay sales.

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