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New tax rules for online sales on eBay classifieds

The new reporting obligation for the operators of digital platforms was already decided on November 10, 2022.

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New tax rules for online sales on eBay classifieds

The new reporting obligation for the operators of digital platforms was already decided on November 10, 2022. The traffic light coalition voted in favor, the CDU and the AfD against, the left abstained. The law has been in force since January 1, 2023 and bears the unwieldy name Platform Tax Transparency Act (PStTG).

It stipulates that the operators of digital platforms must now report to the tax authorities income that has been generated by providers on these platforms, according to Bundestag.de, among others. Not only professional but also private (small) sellers are affected.

The aim is that from now on the companies of the so-called platform economy would have to work more transparently from a tax point of view, i.e. companies like Airbnb, Ebay, Ebay classifieds, Etsy, Vinted or girls' flea market. “A large number of people and companies use digital platforms to generate income,” says “Bundestag.de” about the innovation.

The "uniform and legal taxation of this income" has so far been "a challenge" for the tax authorities. Even more: "There is reason to assume that the income generated is often not or only incompletely declared to the tax authorities." should change now.

Basically, all activities for which there is remuneration are affected by the new reporting obligation. In addition to renting and leasing, personal services and the sale of (used) goods must be reported from now on. The limit for users is more than 30 sales per year or income of more than 2000 euros, reports Chip.de, among others. In other words, parents and families who sell their children's used clothing and toys or who are liquidating a household could also come close to this sum.

In "Bild" a tax consultant also points out that from now on not only the tax office, but also other authorities, such as the job center or customs, have access to the data. The name, address and bank details of the seller, as well as their tax ID and the proceeds from the sale are transmitted. Fees or commissions that reduce profits are also made transparent.

In order to also record foreign providers, there should also be an automatic exchange of information between the member states of the European Union. In any case, the federal government is only implementing the existing EU case law (EU Directive 2021/514) with the PStTG.

For those affected, income tax, sales tax or possibly even trade tax could become due if the free contribution is exceeded. But it is always the individual case that counts, it goes on to say. In addition, the costs incurred should always be claimed if there is a profit.

However, experts advise that from 2023 it is advisable to simply keep accounts of online sales and transactions, as well as to present expenses and income and the corresponding profits transparently in the tax return.

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