Against New eBay Regulations!

Recently I received an email from eBay outlining the following:

Tell Congress to Stop Requiring Unnecessary Tax Reporting and Protect Seller Privacy

A problematic tax reporting provision will force millions of Americans to receive confusing and burdensome IRS forms. These additional income tax forms (1099-K) will be issued for the sale of virtually all goods, even used or pre-owned goods, where no income tax is owed. This new change will mean even people selling only a few things a year online will receive confusing tax forms intended for businesses. 

We need your help to change this law before January 1, 2023.

Now normally I would ignore an email from a large corporation asking me to help change legislation, but this struck a chord with me as not just an anarchist but more specifically an agorist [1]. While it certainly is not going to be the central catalyst for the emergence of a stateless non-violent society, eBay—or rather the people using it—is still in many ways part of the counter-economy (particularly from a green market agorist perspective) and should be defended from these types of interventions. These new regulations would, as the email outlines, require marketplaces “to report sellers who have more than $600 in annual sales to the IRS. That means millions of eBay sellers, including those who may only sell a few items a year, will have their sales reported and will need to keep careful records of their transactions—even if no taxes are owed.” This is an obvious attempt at greater legibility, surveillance, and profitability for the state from voluntary, horizontal exchanges online and, even if it isn’t the most pressing issue at the moment, should be opposed by agorists, anarchists, and libertarians alike. See here to send a letter to Congress.

1. For a good introductory overview of agorism, see Derrick Broze’s “What is Agorism? A History of Agorist Theory and Practice.”

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The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory