At Home: Canada Revenue Agency obtains list of sellers from EBay
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has won the right to obtain information from EBay Canada concerning those EBay members who have managed to make a living from their online businesses.
After a legal battle based on a very weak criticism of the collection of this information, it was agreed that the CRA could obtain the names, usernames, addresses, and contact details for any high sellers on the website.
EBay Canada’s lawyers argued that this information was stored in California and as such could not be easily gathered, but in fact, all arms of EBay are quite centralized and such a request presented no real difficulty to the company (1).
This investigation will first look at big sellers from 2004 and 2005, and it is the intention of the CRA to determine whether or not successful EBay sellers have been reporting this income on their tax returns. While any home-based business (known as cottage industry) is allowed to make a certain low level of money without claiming it as income on their tax forms, anything over the $1,000 per month mark has been cited by the CRA as constituting a substantial income, meaning that thousands of Canadians could be subject to tax reviews in the coming years.
This investigation will very possibly mark the beginning of a new trend in tax collection agencies around the world. In one report by the New York Times, the newspaper points out the irony that while Canadians using EBay had been concerned that their information, stored in the United States, might be viewed by American government bodies, it is now being viewed by the Canadian government (2).
Whatever the ripple effects may be in other parts of the world, the CRA will be hard at work processing details of high-income EBay sellers. So if you have been making money via the online super seller, then you might need to brace yourself for an audit.
(1) CBC News, 2007. ?EBay sellers could face Canadian tax scrutiny.? Retrieved October 4, 2007, from http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2007/09/27/ebay.html
(2) New York Times, 2007. ?Canadian court opens up EBay data to tax agency.? Retrieved October 4, 2007, from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/technology/01ebay.html?ex=1191902400&en=14b6a07b08699495&ei=5040&partner=MOREOVERNEWS
In Foreign News: U.S. seeks support for an Iranian strike
U.S. President George W. Bush has caused a bit of international panic by stating that more and more of the fighting in Iraq is directly due to the influence and munitions supplies of Iranian Shia forces (1).
It has been the President’s opinion for some time that a strike on Iran would solve many of the problems found in Iraqi military missions; however, critics can be found across the globe who feel that this is yet another excuse to exert American force on the Middle East to convert it to democracy and open up closed business and trading ties.
Specifically, the President says that because of Iranian Shia support for Shia insurgents within Iraq, his government has little choice other than to confront Tehran in conjunction with Baghdad.
In essence, it seems that Iran is about to be punished because a proportion of its Shia citizens have banded together with a proportion of Iraq’s Shia, all of whom are bent on the destruction of U.S. forces within the latter country.
More worrying for anti-war protesters worldwide is that, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, Great Britain, and Israel have reportedly engaged in talks with the U.S. concerning an Iranian strike (2).
While the Israeli government is unsurprisingly the most enthusiastic to get into Iran, a great deal of support has come from the recently appointed British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
No dates have been set nor have any specific details been drawn up; however, it seems that a military strike that has been brewing for several years now may actually come to pass.
So much for pulling the troops out of Iraq; I don’t think anti-war protesters will be happy to know that American, British, and Australian forces have been painstakingly reduced in Iraq merely to be sent over to Iran. But That’s just a guess.
(1) The New Yorker, 2007. ?Shifting targets.? Retrieved October 4, 2007, from http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_hersh
(2) Sydney Morning Herald, 2007. ?US garners support for strike on Iran.? Retrieved October 4, 2007, from http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/us-garners-support-for-strike-on-iran/2007/10/01/1191091029426.html