Tax Tips: Do I have to report my income from my garage sale on my taxes?

It seems the IRS wants a piece of any type of income you had last year... So it's not uncommon for taxpayers to ask about what they're supposed to do with the money they made from a garage sale. The answer to this question is pretty simple. If you sold a handful of personal items at a garage sale (or via eBay or another online auction site) you don't have to report this income on your taxes. So long as this is something you're not doing on a regular basis, you're in the clear.

The issue gets a little more complicated if you sold any "appreciated assets," which are things like art, antiques and collectibles. If you sold them for more than you paid for them, you'll have a gain that should be reported on your income taxes. The same goes for property that you used in a business and claimed on your business tax returns. The sale of that type of property is likely reportable on your income taxes.

If you've started an online auction business or if you have recurring garage sales (that essentially become a business), you probably have to report this income on your income taxes. It's usually pretty clear when you're intending to make a profit at these activities, and that's when your eBay selling or your repeated garage sales actually become a business.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.


Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents and Brokers

Most real estate agents and brokers receive income in the form of commissions from sales transactions. You're generally not considered an employee under federal tax guidelines, but rather a self-employed sole proprietor, even if you're an agent or broker working for a real estate brokerage firm. This self-employed status allows you to deduct many of the expenses you incur in your real estate sales or property management activities. Careful record keeping and knowing your eligible write-offs are key to getting all of the tax deductions you're entitled to.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What is the Educator Expense Tax Deduction?

The Educator Expense Tax Deduction allows teachers and certain academic administrators to deduct a portion of the costs of technology, supplies, and certain training. Here’s what teachers need to know about taking the Educator Expense Deduction on their tax returns.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Self-Employed Less Than a Year? How to Do Your Taxes

Have you been self-employed less than a year? If you’re just starting out, it’s possible you worked at a job earlier in the tax year before making the switch to self-employment, or you’re working multiple jobs. In this case, you may have more than once source of income you’ll need to report on your income tax return.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Taxes for Grads: Do Scholarships Count as Taxable Income?

Heading off to college to broaden your horizons is exciting, but funding your education via scholarships? That's even better. Scholarships often provide a path to education that might not be feasible otherwise, which is why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be generous in minimizing students' tax obligations. But sometimes scholarship money does count as income, and it’s better to find out now if your scholarship adds to your tax liability than to have a surprise later. Here’s how to decode your scholarship taxation.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.