Garage Sales, Flea Markets, Rummage Sales, and Swap Meets

If you sell personal household items such as housewares, dishes and clothing, your sales are not subject to sales or use tax if:

It is presumed you are not pursuing a business or part-time business as a vendor of taxable products when your sales of taxable products or services if your taxable sales do not exceed $2,000 for the calendar year.

Example 1 - An individual holds an annual garage sale the third weekend of May and makes sales of used household goods totaling $2,300. The individual does not hold a Wisconsin seller's permit and makes no other sales. The individual's sales are isolated and sporadic (one weekend per year) and the individual does not hold a seller's permit and is not required to hold a seller's permit. The individual's sales are not taxable.

Example 2 - An individual sells handmade jewelry at several craft fairs throughout the year. The individual does not hold a seller's permit. Taxable sales for the calendar year total $1,850. The individual's sales qualify for the occasional sale exemption and is not required to remit sales tax on its sales. The individual may not purchase the materials used to make the jewelry without tax, for resale. The individual must pay sales tax or remit use tax on the purchase of beads, clasps, wire, stones, and other materials used to create the jewelry.

When are your sales taxable?

You are required to remit sales tax on your sale of taxable products and services if:

Example 3 – A craft vendor believes its taxable sales will exceed $2,000 during the calendar year. Therefore, the vendor obtains a seller's permit on January 1. The vendor does not make $2,000 in taxable sales by December 31. Since the vendor held a seller's permit, the occasional sales exemption does not apply. The vendor must remit sales tax on all of its taxable sales for the year. The vendor may purchase craft materials it resells to its customers without tax, for resale, by providing its suppliers with a fully completed exemption certificate.

Example 4 - An individual sells new and used items at flea markets throughout the year. Taxable sales for the calendar year exceed $2,000. The individual is engaged in the business of selling new and used items. The individual must register for a Wisconsin seller's permit and remit tax on such sales. The individual may purchase items it resells without tax, for resale, by providing its vendors with a fully completed exemption certificate.

Additional resources:

Applicable Laws and Rules

This document provides statements or interpretations of the following laws and regulations enacted as of July 23, 2020: Sections 77.51, 77.52 and 77.54, Wis. Stats., and secs. Tax 11.33 and 11.535, Wis. Adm. Code.

Laws enacted after July 23, 2020, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to July 23, 2020, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, pursuant to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats.

FOR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS CONTACT:

MS 5-77
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Customer Service Bureau
PO Box 8949
Madison, WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 266-2776
Fax: (608) 267-1030
Email additional questions to DORSalesandUse@wisconsin.gov

July 23, 2020