Garage Sales

Today TaxMama® hears from John in the TaxQuips Forum with a sensible question. “Are garage sales reportable?
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I have never heard of anyone reporting garage sales.

I assume everyone guesses their basis exceeds the gross proceeds and personal losses are disallowed.”


Dear John,


Yes, all sales are reportable, since they are income.

Real garage sales DO tend to be people selling they stuff they bought (or were given) years ago and are now selling for pennies on the dollar.

And if you do report these sales…the basis will be reported as the same amount as the sales price, since you cannot take a loss on the sale of personal assets.

However, some people make a business of holding weekly or monthly garage sales (kind of like eBay, or even pre-dating the eBay concept).
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They buy up stuff cheaply (often buying up an entire garage sale in bulk) and sell at a profit.

That IS reportable. Just like any business.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about selling personal property and other tax and business issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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