Whether you sell items only online or not, the IRS and most states consider any income you earn from these sales to be taxable. Whether or not you owe taxes for the sale of personal items, goods or services online will depend on several factors, such as whether you made a profit. All that money you make selling things online? Don't Overlook the Tax Collector. Depending on your situation, you may be generating income that the IRS wants to know.
And if you're a consistent salesperson, keep in mind that it may be more difficult starting this year to avoid revenue reporting requirements. While the tax legislation that applies to these transactions hasn't changed, it has only become more visible, said Cari Weston, director of ethics for tax practice %26 at the American Institute of Chartered Accountants. Ebay is one of the platforms that would be affected by the new reporting rule, and the company is working with lawmakers to address any problems it may cause. In addition, to issue a 1099-K, a social security number is required, causing some of the affected companies to worry that the requirement will discourage sellers, said Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.
Not all of these platforms routinely collect that information. Regardless of whether or not you receive a tax form, there are cases where the income you earn from your online sales must be reported to the IRS. Here's what you should know about applicable tax rules. Otherwise, the taxation depends on the situation.
The good news is that, as a business owner, you can subtract your expenses from the money you earn. And if those costs exceed your company's revenue in a particular year, you can subtract the resulting loss from other revenues you report on your tax return, Weston said. The IRS also wants to know about the income you generate from a hobby. However, unlike business losses, taxpayers can generally only deduct applicable expenses up to the amount of hobby income.
In other words, the excess (the loss) cannot be deducted from other income. Determining if you're selling as a hobby or as a business can sometimes be complicated. The IRS has some tips on its website aimed at helping taxpayers make a determination. In these specific cases, the gain would be treated as a capital gain.
Usually, that means it's taxed as ordinary income if you held the asset (the item) for less than a year, or it's considered a long-term gain with a tax rate of 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on your total income. However, there are exceptions to those rates, including the 28% that applies to profits from the sale of things such as fine art, collectibles, antiques, stamps, coins and some jewelry, Weston said. Do you have any confidential news? We want to hear from you. Get this in your inbox and learn more about our products and services.
Either some neighbors called the charity to pick up items that weren't selling, or the truck was simply going around the community looking for people who didn't want to hide unwanted things in their homes. We don't participate, either as sellers or as buyers, although I've been tempted to walk around the block and see what items my neighbors are trying to unload. Generally speaking, if you sell for profit for reasons that go beyond encouraging a hobby, you're probably considered a business owner for tax purposes. A casual seller selling an item at a profit would have a taxable capital gain that is supposed to be reported to the IRS (see the collectors' or investor analysis below).
That's why they tax you on sales profits (you must have earned more money with the item than you paid for it to be a profit). Income tax laws work exactly the same way when you sell something online, whether at an online auction or otherwise, as when you sell an item in the physical world. Under the previous law, fans could request as a detailed deduction their expenses related to the hobby up to the amount of income the fans earned during the year. For example, an investor who collects coins primarily to make a profit by selling or trading them, not for fun.
You don't have to dedicate yourself to selling online full time to make it a business, but you do need to work on it regularly. If you sell something created or purchased as a hobby online, the profits you make are taxable income that must be reported on your tax return. When talking about the sale of personal items in Publication 525, the IRS says that if you sold an item you own for personal use, such as a car, refrigerator, furniture, stereo equipment, jewelry or silverware, your profit is taxable as capital gain. .