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eBay Chatter - eBay and the tax man (or woman)

Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008, at 9:38 AM

The question inevitably comes up in class about "what do I have to declare to the IRS". I am quick to point out that I am not a tax expert, so if we have some out there, please feel free to speak up.

What I do tell them is that most garage sales are not on the radar screen because they are usually personal items that you are trying to remove from the house and probably sold at a price lower than you paid for it, but if you buy something to re-sell, you have just stepped over a threshold that requires closer scrutiny.

Likewise, if you sold your collection of Reader's Digest for more than the original cost, the tax man might be interested. Here is a link to an article that explains in more detail http://www.moneybluebook.com:80/are-ebay...

In class I suggest that if you think your eBay sales might be a regular source of income, then why not get in the habit of keeping records for practice and eventually for real? In the story I have referenced, there are links for more information. "When in doubt, check it out".

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.