This is not new, the financial guide Finanztip already reported it a year ago. But now things are getting serious: the deadline for submitting reports is always January 31 of the following year. In reality it has already expired, but in 2024 a transitional regulation will continue to apply until the end of March.

Did you sell a lot in 2023? This is what you should do now.

What this means for you is that you should now go back to doing the previous year's activities if you sold or rented something frequently in 2023. Because if you use it in the commercial sector, income taxes, business taxes and sales taxes. And then it is better not to wait until the tax office contacts you, but to register a company immediately. Otherwise, you could face fines in addition to additional tax payments.

When will they report to you?

The platforms only report if you have sold at least 30 things or rented them 30 times in a year or earned at least 2,000 euros (after deducting taxes). If you are below these limits, you don't have to do anything. Limits apply per platform and only to your own payment services. For example, if you do not process payments directly on classified ads, the sale will not be recorded or reported.

Declared = pay taxes?

No. If you sold half the contents of your basement last year and crossed one of the limits with your old stuff, this will be reported. But that doesn't mean you automatically have to pay taxes. Then the tax office just takes a closer look. For you to classify your activities as commercial, you must conclude that you really wanted to make profits on a larger scale. This is the case, for example, if one of the following points applies to you. Finanztip has summarized the most important ones:

  • They sell the same thing over and over again.
  • For example, you only buy cheap items during sales to resell them.
  • They sell items that they make themselves.
  • You sell over a longer period of time
  • You have several similar items or products on sale.

If you only sell old things, you are unlikely to get into trouble. Because acquisition costs also count. And, as a rule, it is then sold cheaper. Therefore, one cannot expect to make a profit.

However, if many items are sold, the Treasury will consider it to be a commercial activity, according to a ruling by the Federal Tax Court. In the sentence there were 328 articles in one year.

What if, for example, you have rented your apartment as a holiday apartment? If you exceed one of the limits, you must report it on your tax return. Now there is even its own facility for this (V-Fewo).

Keep records

As soon as you cross the limits, you will usually receive information from the respective platform. They then have to check your tax identification number so they can report it to the tax office. If you refuse, the platform must impose sanctions (for example, blocking your account).

Still, it's best to keep records of your sales in the future if you sell something more frequently. Write down what item you sold, when and where, at what price, what fees you paid, and how much the item cost you. If you do this in an Excel table, you can always see if you are still within the limits.

You can read all the details and exactly how the big individual platforms are approaching the new regulation in this private sales tax financial advice guide.