Reader question: We have a second home in France that we intend to sell. There are a few items of furniture that we intend to sell on eBay to empty the house – I doubt we’ll make more than €2,000 from them. Will we have to declare these sales to tax authorities in France?
In terms of declaring revenue received from online sites, it depends on what you are selling and if you are making a profit.
If, as in our reader’s case, you are selling your own second-hand items such as furniture or clothes, you do not need to declare the money.
Essentially there would only be a declarable income here if you were considered to have made a capital gain but in the vast majority of cases you will probably sell for less than you paid for the item.
The situation would be different if you made an item and then sold it on for a profit. You can read more about that here: Airbnb, Vinted: Do online earnings need to be declared for French tax?.
It should be noted that websites such as eBay are obliged to make a declaration of your income to the tax office unless you made less than €3,000 or carried out fewer than 20 transactions on the site in the year.
Expensive artworks or antiques
There is an exception in the case of selling antiques, objets d’art, precious metals and jewels and similar valuables and collectibles.
In some cases these are declarable – and payable – on special forms within a month of sale, either for a flat tax or under the ordinary regime of capital gains on sales of so called ‘moveable property’ (in French law this refers to everything you own apart from buildings and land) if you have paperwork to prove the gain.
With the exception of precious metals, where all sales are taxable, this only concerns sales for amounts of more than €5,000.