What shouldn't be sold online

In this way, private online sales do not become a tax trap

So the tax office looks for tax evaders

Since 2013, portal operators have had to pass on the name, address and bank details of a seller at the request of the tax office and list all sales (Bundesfinanzhof, Az .: II R 15/12). In addition, the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) uses the search engine Xpider to determine who sells often or a lot of goods on trading platforms over a longer period of time. It is above all dealers who are targeted by officials who offer new goods. The responsible tax office examines the data obtained in this way very precisely and decides each case individually. And anyone who is classified as a commercial trader can expect hefty additional claims.

When does one become a commercial trader?

The transition between private sales and professional trading is fluid. If you clear out your wardrobe and sell your ex-favorite blouse from your ex-favorite designer, you don't have to pay taxes. Even the inherited coin collection can easily be auctioned online without transferring money to the tax office. But anyone who sells items at a profit over the long term makes themselves suspicious. According to ARAG experts, the tax authorities pay attention when someone trades regularly, achieves high sales, often new goods, similar items or sold for third parties and the goods offered are placed in a complex manner.

Beware of resale and speculative goods!

If things are bought and sold again within a year, the tax office takes a close look. It is also interested in so-called speculative goods such as gold, antiques or art, which can be resold quickly and at high profit. Then also private traders must exercise caution and must not exceed the annual exemption limit of 600 euros total profit for private sales transactions. Profits in excess of this must be reported in the income tax return as 'other income' with the amount of profit, purchase price and date of purchase and sale.

What taxes are there for commercial traders?

According to the ARAG experts, commercial traders have to pay income, sales and trade tax. The current basic allowance, which serves to secure the subsistence level and is therefore not subject to any income tax, is 9,744 euros. Anyone who conducts online trading as an additional income to their non-self-employed activity can keep up to 410 euros tax-free per year without having to submit a tax return - unless they are already obliged to do so for other reasons. In addition, no sales tax has to be paid if the net sales do not exceed 22,000 euros. Sales tax is only due if sales in the previous year were higher than 22,000 euros (until 2019: 17,500 euros) and are expected to be more than 50,000 euros in the current year. The ARAG experts point out that the municipalities could also hold their hands on the trade tax if the profits are higher than 24,500 euros per year.