Work were throwing away a bunch of boxes full of e-waste and I was able to take them for free. I have started selling the items on Ebay and getting paid through Paypal. I believe the max total turnover would be $5500 (not profit excluding Postage and etc) when I sell everything and was wondering what happens in tax time and what responsibilities I face in regards to declaring and or paying income tax on this ?

This isn't a common thing and might never happen again so I don't believe I should have to pay tax as I am not running a business. If someone could help me out that would be great.

Thanks !

1 Answer 1


If you are not running a business and you are doing it as a one-off you would be considered to be having a hobby. It would be similar to you doing some spring cleaning and deciding to sell some stuff on eBay or having a garage sale. You are correct that you do not have to include any money you make selling this stuff in your tax return and you don't have to pay tax on it.

If, on the other hand, you created an ABN, regularly received similar goods for free or very cheap and then onsold them for a profit on eBay, then that would be considered a business, in which case you would have to include any income in your tax return and potentially pay tax on it.

  • Hi @Victor thanks for the reply ! What about if the sales were spread out for like 4-6 months due to the items taking a while to sell ?
    – Q-or-A
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 19:52
  • 1
    That would not matter, because it is the purpose that counts. If you were sourcing these items all the time from either one or many suppliers and then trying to sell them for profit - then it would be considered a business and you would have to set up an ABN. As it is a one-off, it would not be considered a business. If say in 2 years time you discover some other stuff that work is giving away and you decide to sell them again - it is still not considered a business because you are actively not going out of your way to source this stuff - it is more like selling unwanted goods from your home.
    – Victor
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 22:43

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