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

  1. Your sales are less than $1,000 for the calendar year or are isolated and sporadic, and
  2. You do not hold, and are not required to hold, a seller's permit at the time of the sales.

You must hold a seller's permit if you are engaged in business in Wisconsin. For example, if you make taxable sales as part of conducting a trade or business, you must hold a seller's permit and pay tax on all of your taxable sales, including sales of business assets (e.g., office equipment or warehouse shelving).

When are your sales taxable?

If you regularly sell new or used items at rummage sales, flea markets, or swap meets, you are engaged in business (or a part-time business). You must have a Wisconsin seller's permit and pay sales tax on your sales.

Example 1 - An individual who sells new or used items at flea markets on the first weekend of every month has sales from a business or part-time business. The individual must register for a Wisconsin seller's permit and pay tax on such sales.

Example 2 - 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.

For more examples see Publication 228, Temporary Events, pages 9 - 11.

May 10, 2016