Feeds

Chicago demands ticket taxes from eBay, StubHub

'You must pay for your amusements'

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The City of Chicago is suing eBay and its secondhand ticket outfit StubHub, claiming they've failed to collect millions of dollars a year in city taxes.

On Monday, as reported by The Associated Press, the city filed separate suits against eBay and its subsidiary, demanding records of their Chicago-area ticket sales. A Chicago ordinance requires businesses to collect taxes on the resale of all tickets to "sporting events, cultural events, and other amusements taking place in the city," and the dual-suits allege that the two online outfits refuse to do so.

eBay did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But according to Jennifer Hoyle, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Law, the company has told the city it's immune to the ordinance. It has also refused to provide records of its online ticket sales, she says.

"One of the big issues is that we don't exactly know what we're losing in taxes. The companies involved have not provided the paperwork that would tell us what we're missing out on," Hoyle told us. "They claim that the ordinance isn't applicable to them."

In addition to asking for records, the suits asks for money. Chicago demands that the two online outfits start collecting and remitting its amusement tax - and fork over some back taxes as well.

As Hoyle points out, the Chicago Municipal Code requires all ticket resellers and all ticket reseller agents to collect the city's amusement tax. The agents bit includes websites, but that wasn't added until September 2006, says Donal Quinlan, a spokesperson for the office of Chicago alderman Edward Burke, who was instrumental in revising the ordinance.

Burke's office estimates that Chicago is missing out on $16m a year in taxes just on the resale of tickets over the net. Or at least, that was the estimate back in 2006.

A pre-Internet-era Supreme Court case says that online businesses aren't required to collect sales taxes unless they have a physical presence in the state where the customer resides. StubHub has offices in Chicago and that may mean that eBay has a physical presence in Illinois as well.

Amazon is now battling physical presence issues in both New York and Texas. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.