Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

IRS may consider eBay sales taxable income

Filed under
Web

Hawking baby and children's clothes - along with some garage sale and thrift store bargains - on eBay helps Sunni Wojnarowsky bring in some extra money so she can afford to stay home with her two young boys. The additional dollars are great, but does she really need to hassle with the paperwork and report her small profit to the Internal Revenue Service? Her question, posed to the online auction site's discussion board for sellers, generated much advice - and more confusion.

In tax law, there is no clear, bright line that separates fun from profit, or a hobby from a business. But IRS instructions make it clear that all income - a category that includes bribes, gambling winnings, kickbacks and money made in illegal activities - can be taxed.

"You can't get an answer from anybody," Wojnarowsky said in an interview from her home in Brunswick, Ohio. "It would be nice to have a straightforward answer of yes, you file taxes, or no, you don't."

More than 135 million people have registered to use the auction site that calls itself "the world's online marketplace." Buyers bought more than $34 billion worth of merchandise there last year.

Some people make money by cleaning out items from their closets; others use the site to run small businesses.

"When you're working on the Internet, it's kind of a gray issue," said Bart Fooden, a certified public accountant in Woodbury, N.Y., who advises small businesses and individuals. "The big issue is whether you're doing it as a business or not."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Phoronix on Linux 4.7

Linux and FOSS Events

  • Reporting on OSCON 2016
    Last week was OSCON 2016, and the first year that the conference was held in Austin, Texas. OSCON has always been an important conference for Conservancy and for me personally. In 2011, it was the first conference I ever keynoted (I was also on a keynote panel in 2008, which was the closest I’d gotten before then), and where I really started talking about my heart condition and medical devices. OSCON was also the conference where we had the first Conservancy booth and debuted Conservancy t-shirts and stickers.
  • Day -1 of PyCon US 2016
    I reached Portland two days back, was happy to see that Remy helped us to find a hotel just opposite to the conference center. As I am typing this, I can see the empty roads, and the main doors of the venue. Yesterday also I woke up by 5AM, the virtue of being in a place 12:30 hours apart from your standard timezone :) After writing the article about Microbit support in Fedora (it is still under review) I moved to the conference venue. It was very easy to find the staff room. As usual Doug,Lvh,Eric were already there, later I met Ewa, and then met Betsy for the first time. While discussing security practices when I asked, Lvh pointed out that getting golang vendored sources in the source code repository and then not updating them later, is more of a software engineering problem than a security problem as he sees.
  • Running a Hackerspace
    I wrote parts of this post after our last monthly assembly at Athens Hackerspace. Most of the hackerspace operators are dealing with this monthly meeting routinely and we often forget what we have achieved during the last 5 years and how many great things this physical space enabled to happen. But this post is not about our hackerspace. It's an effort to distant myself and try to write about the experience of running a hackerspace.

Android Leftovers