Skip to main content

When selling personal items, how much profit do you have to make before you are required to claim it on your taxes?

Salt Lake City, UT |

Last year I sold a few items on eBay. I sold the items for about $50 plus shipping, eBay charges fees to see on their site so my profit was less than $50. I don't have the receipts for the shipping costs but I do have documents for the sale prices and the eBay fees. When I originally bought the items I sold I payed more for them than what I resold them for though I didn't keep the receipts for these either. I know when you have yard sales there is a certain amount you can meet before you have to claim it on your taxes but I don't know what that is. In any case does this sound like I have to claim this when I file my taxes?

Attorney Answers 2


There is no minmum on the amount of income that is reportable in this context. But the taxable amount is only the profit, i.e., the excess of the selling price over your adjusted basis and costs of sale. Basis must be reduced by the amount of depreciation--on personal property, depreciation would be zero, so your basis is likely your cost. Unless they are antiques, it is rare that one can sell used property for more than one paid for it. So it is likely that you have no reportable profit on these sales.
FEEDBACK: Both AVVO and other readers are interested in your feedback on the quality of the answers. Plz check the “thumbs up” symbol if you find an answer helpful or the “thumbs down” symbol if not.
DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in California.
(Bryant) Keith Martin

Mark as helpful


In your case there is a 2 part test. If you meet either test you have to file and report all income and losses.

1. If you were you self-employed with earnings of more than $400.00 you have to file an income tax return.

2. You must file if your gross income is at least …**
Single under 65 $9,350
65 or older $10,750
Married Filing Jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $18,700
65 or older (one spouse) $19,800
65 or older (both spouses) $20,900
Married Filing Separately any age $3,650
Head of Household under 65 $12,000
65 or older $13,400
Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child under 65 $15,050
65 or older $16,150

Disclaimer of California Attorney
Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.

Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan.

Robert J. Suhajda, MS,CPA
17721 Norwalk Blvd. #43
Artesia, CA 90701

Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns,
Homeowner Association Strategist.

Mark as helpful

Wills and estates topics

Recommended articles about Wills and estates

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics