The North Carolina Department of Revenue issued a letter ruling that concluded an online platform owner and administrator was not a marketplace facilitator because it neither collected nor otherwise processed payment for any items sold on the website. The taxpayer requesting the ruling was an affiliate of original equipment manufacturers “OEMs), and operated a platform whereby the OEMs sold parts to established customers. The taxpayer administered the electronic infrastructure of the platform and provided connection support. The taxpayer did not receive any compensation for the use of the platform or for orders received through the platform. An independent entity processed all customer payments, or made payment processing services available.

North Carolina’s definition of “marketplace facilitator” under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.3(133) has two parts: (1) listing or otherwise making available for sale a marketplace seller’s items through a marketplace owned or operated by the marketplace facilitator; and (2) collects the sales or purchase price of a marketplace seller’s items, processes payment, or makes payment processing services available to purchasers. The Department concluded that while the taxpayer satisfied the first part, it did not meet the second part. Neither the taxpayer nor its affiliates collected or processed payments; instead, an unrelated entity handled that function.

N.C. Private Letter Ruling No. SUPLR 2022-0008 (Dec. 9, 2022).