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I bought a new dehumidifier off of Amazon. I used it in my apartment for a month but don't need it anymore. I want to sell it used, at a price lower than the price I bought it for. I listed the item on Facebook Marketplace. Do I need to charge the buyer sales tax and then pay that tax to the government? Is there anything else I need to do? I live in Norwalk, Connecticut.

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  • Technically, I think you do, but nobody ever does it.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 2 '20 at 13:49
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    @RonJohn Really? The tax has - presumably - already been paid at the time of initial purchase. I know sales tax in the US is a bit more complicated, but the European equivalent of VAT would not be chargeable on second-hand purchases.
    – Darren
    Jan 2 '20 at 16:32
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    In the US, taxes are paid on used cars and clothes purchased from second hand stores.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 2 '20 at 17:03
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    @RonJohn: But that's because 1) You have to register the car, so the state's got you there. (Unless you bought the car for parts, or to use as a race car or something.) 2) The second-hand store is a business, so the state can get them.
    – jamesqf
    Jan 2 '20 at 18:02
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    @xyious Corporations are legal persons. Which just means that they are entities recognized by the law. It doesn't mean they are "people". There's nothing weird about that. Jan 3 '20 at 21:14
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Yard sales and the occasional Craigslist sale are considered "casual sales" so generally are not taxable.

There are, of course, exceptions, and laws vary by state.

Source: https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog/2015/04/sales-tax-reporting-on-casual-sales.html

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  • 1
    Thank you. After reading your answer, I googled casual sales tax in CT and found Section 12-426-17 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. It says that "casual or isolated sales", which include "infrequent sales of a nonrecurring nature made by a person not engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property", are generally exempt from sales tax, with a few exceptions.
    – ma11hew28
    Jan 7 '20 at 0:02
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tl;dr

No, not in your situation of "selling for less than purchased".


From https://tax.findlaw.com/federal-taxes/do-you-need-to-report-your-online-sales-to-the-irs.html

Online 'Garage Sales'

Online sales of personal, used items do not generally have to be reported. Selling your old bicycle on Craigslist is an example of these types of sales. Losses on personal use property are not deductible on online sellers' tax returns. The rule of thumb is that if you used the items and then sold them for less than you bought them for, then you owe no taxes on the sale. However, if you sold an antique or collectible that had appreciated since you first acquired it, you likely would be on the hook for taxes on the profit.


Even if you did sell it for a profit then how would they be able to reliably verify short of you coming forth voluntarily.


Additionally, it would be a very awkward conversation to tell the buyer "Hey, I need to charge you tax on this since I am making a profit." In general you would just charge enough to cover the tax and pay it out of pocket if you were to honestly report the capital gains.

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  • 11
    The OP was asking about sales tax. This answer is talking about income tax.
    – shoover
    Jan 3 '20 at 22:29

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