eBay and Co.: Portals now report sales activity to tax offices

Ever heard of the Platform Tax Transparency Act? You should know that now if you sell things privately on eBay, Etsy, Vinted, and Co.

Since January 1, 2023, online marketplaces have been legally obliged to report their sellers and their activities to the tax authorities. The goal: more transparency in transactions and less lost tax revenue. However, not every private sale is taxable. The Association of Taxpayers points this out.

According to the Platforms Tax Transparency Act, the data of sellers who have made more than 30 sales per year and platform or generated sales of more than 2000 euros must be transmitted. This applies to all digital platforms where goods or services can be brokered.

If you occasionally sell things from the basement or the closet, you can quickly get over the 30-sale limit. Nevertheless, there is nothing to fear from the tax law.

“If it’s used everyday items, you can sell as many as you want,” says Tobias Gerauer from the Bavarian wage tax office. Because it can be assumed that these items will be sold without the intention of making a profit – i.e. below the original price that the seller once paid for them.

The situation is different with luxury items. Jewellery, coins, antiques, and art, for example, do not fall under normal everyday objects, according to the Bavarian wage tax aid. There is a statutory speculation period of one year for these things. If there are less than twelve months between purchase and sale, the profit must be taxed – unless it is less than 600 euros per year. After the speculation period has expired, the profits are tax-free.

Incidentally, sales of several similar objects also indicate a trade. If you sell the same novel five times or so, you will have trouble proving that the pieces come from your own bookshelf. Anyone who sells something for friends or relatives in their name should also be careful, advises the Bavarian wage tax aid. The same applies to sellers who regularly sell new goods.

Those who remain with their activities in the tax-irrelevant area could still run the risk of the tax office digging deeper in the event of an unusually high number of sales, according to the Bavarian wage tax aid. In order to be able to refute an unjustified suspicion, it can be worthwhile to keep a sales diary. It should list items sold, brand name, new and retail price. After all, who else can remember sales a few months ago?


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