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Anonymous
Not applicable

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

Hello,

 

So this year I decided to sell my personal coin / banknote collection on eBay, as well as a few books - to clean my closet and have these items go to someone who could appreciate them. As the tax year rolls around I'm wondering do I have to claim this as income for 2019.

 

Obviously I am selling my coin / banknotes for best price I can get and my books as well. I cant remember what I paid for any of my coins/banknotes and items but likely I'm breaking even, gaining a bit or losing. One book I sold I collected as a kid and my parents paid probably 4x what I sold it for.

 

I've basically sold everything I wanted to and will stop selling on eBay by the end of this year as I have no need of it anymore.  I have kept all my receipts and made an excel sheet just in case I need to report but reading other peoples posts it seems if its personal items you do not have to report (but this is vague). I'm not looking to make a profit and I have no plans to run this as a business.

 

Thanks in advance!

Cheers

8 Replies
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

Any profit on the sale of a personal item is taxable income, and you do have to report it. You might have a profit on the coin and banknote collection. Note that the taxable income is just the profit, not the full selling price.


You probably have losses on the books because, as in the example you gave, you are selling them for less than you paid for them. You cannot deduct a loss on the sale of personal items, and you do not report the loss on your tax return.


Since this is a one-time activity you can report any profits as "other income." You do not have to report it as a business.

rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

Another SuperUser, @tagteam, pointed out to me that the coin and banknote collection is a special type of asset called a collectible. If you owned it for more than one year the profit is taxed at special rates, which might reduce the amount of tax you have to pay. You should report the sale as an investment sale. When TurboTax asks what type of investment you sold, select Collectible.

 

Not having a record of what you paid for the items is a problem, though. You have to know your "basis" (cost) in order to calculate the amount of taxable gain (profit). The fallback position when you don't know the basis of an asset is to use zero as the basis. But that treats the full selling price as taxable income, which would probably result in paying much more tax than you really owe. You should probably figure out a reasonable estimate of how much you paid, and keep a record of how you arrived at the estimate in case the IRS asks. If there's a significant amount of money involved you might want to get professional tax advice.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

I have owned my collection for awhile and obviously I can not remember what I paid for some of my collection back in the day. But I figure if I can give to the bank for face value and not have to claim that then if I sell a $100 dollar bill for $150 on eBay, there is a $50 profit to claim.

 

In Canada (CRA) I dont know what the difference is from US (IRS) but as long as the income is claimed and I have everything documented shouldnt be an issue. Just wanted to know if I have to claim - which I kinda of figured I had too.

IsabellaG
Employee Tax Expert

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

@Anonymous, are you a citizen of Canada, filing a CA tax return?

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

Yes live in Canada.

Critter
Level 15

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

 

This is the US forum....

 

Here is the Canada website
http://turbotax.intuit.ca/tax-software/index.jsp 

TT Canada Forum
https://turbotax.community.intuit.ca/tax-help

 

TurboTax Canada Support 

https://support.turbotax.intuit.ca/contact/

IsabellaG
Employee Tax Expert

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

I'm going to move your question to the Canadian Community, where you would be better served. The answers that you've received so far are all correct concerning US tax law, but we wouldn't know how you should proceed.

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Question about Ebay Selling - Personal items

Okay thanks - when I signed in, I signed in on the Canada Website so I dont know how it got to here.

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