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Category: Tax
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EBay Tax Concerns? Under $5,000 in sales... I may be seeking

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EBay Tax Concerns? Under $5,000 in sales...

I may be seeking to sell a fair amount of old books, antiques, etc in 2013, but probably not more than $5,000 worth. Do I have to declare any of that on my taxes?
I'm not sure from where you are getting that under $5000 is significant. You have to declare all income on your taxes if you are selling with the intent of making a profit. For some reason, many people think that you don't need to declare Ebay income. That is an incorrect assumption. I myself have sold on Ebay for over 10 years and that's how I know that many sellers seem to be unfamiliar with tax laws :)

If you take a look on Amazon, there are actually a number of books that are helpful with taxes for small business owners and Ebay sellers. There are also a number of accounting apps specific to Ebay that can help you keep track of sales and income and profit.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for a very fast response! Is there any particular introductory level book (I dunno... like a "Small Biz For Dummies"? or something along those lines) you'd recommend?


The reason I thought it might not be taxable was that I thought it might fall under being called a hobby or something. Maybe a purely layman's misconception? ALSO: $3,000 or so of the antiques were inherited from my mother and her estate was not large enough for me to owe taxes on it. Wouldn't their sales be excluded?


I think the above will cover my question completely!

Even if it is a hobby, you still need to declare it on your taxes. It's simply treated differently. If you are selling with the intent to make a profit, though, it's a business and not a hobby. Here is a link to IRS rules about hobby vs business and here are a couple of book recommendations:

Hope this helps! If you have any other legal questions that come up, feel free to request me on here or put MDLaw in the title/subject line. Thanks so much!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Final Question (promise!): you didn't address the aspect of selling the inherited items? They're not recorded officially anywhere, so I have no way of PROVING that I got them from my mom, but as noted, we're not talking about the Cartier diamonds here. :)

There is no exclusion simply because they were inherited. Whenever you sell something to make a profit, you need to report it as income. When it comes to tax time, when actually going through your list of items sold, you would not have a cost for those items since they were not purchased with the intent to sell but you still need to report the income. I apologize if that was unclear.
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