Vinted, Airbnb… Do income from these online platforms have to be declared for tax?

Vinted, Airbnb… Do income from these online platforms have to be declared for tax?

Sell ​​your clothes online or rent your apartment on a platform … Is it taxable, as Internet users fear? Yes, in some cases, confirms to franceinfo a tax lawyer.

A teenage girl photographs clothes with her phone in order to sell them on the Vinted platform, May 1, 2020 (PHILIPPE TURPIN / PHOTONONSTOP / AFP)

Online sales have been booming in 2020, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the space of a year, they climbed 8.5% in France to reach 112 billion euros, reports the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad). In particular, sales and rental services between individuals have seen their services taken by storm. At the end of the first confinement, nearly one in two French people had purchased second-hand items online, according to a YouGov study relayed by the giant Ebay. Among the big winners of this period, we find the second-hand clothing resale platform Vinted, which has increased from 12 to 16 million users in France, according to Paris Match.

It is precisely this Lithuanian company launched in France in 2013 that has been talked about on social networks. A user of the TikTok platform posted a video on Sunday, April 18, in which she films her tax return. “Look at I am doing my tax return and there we have a nice gift displayed: Vinted”, exposes this Internet user, visibly surprised to find this information there. On his computer screen, the box “total gross income” displays an amount of 1,585 euros from Vinted. Stupor in the comments. Some users are surprised to see these gains recorded by the tax authorities. But do they have to be declared for taxes and are they taxable?

A compulsory tax declaration

If, like this TikTok user, you find that your income from selling or renting online has been passed on to the tax authorities, that’s totally normal. Since 2020, online platforms have been required to do so if the amount reported by your sales exceeds 3,000 euros over the year and if you have carried out more than 20 transactions over the same period, notes the Ministry of the Economy. (PDF). A way to fight “Against fraud”, he explains on his website, because “It is indeed possible that it is then a professional activity”.

If you use this type of platform, you have surely received by email before the end of January a statement which summarizes the income you have drawn from it in 2020. “But as with the other information entered, the taxpayer remains responsible for his declarations. He can check and modify the pre-filled amounts transmitted by the platforms ”, explains to franceinfo Manuela Bitton, tax lawyer at Bersay law firm.

Income not necessarily taxable

While the income earned by a taxpayer from the sale or rental online must be reported to taxes by the platforms in certain cases, it is not necessarily taxable. It all depends on several parameters, explains the website of taxes in an infographic (PDF) published in 2019.

If you dispose of personal property that you simply no longer want to keep (clothes, for example), the income from those sales is not subject to tax. “On clothing or object resale sites such as Vinted, Ebay or LeBonCoin, a priori we will rather realize capital losses, that is to say that the sale price is generally lower than the price of purchase”, note Manuela Bitton.

But beware, there are exceptions: precious metals are taxed at 11%, while jewelry or works of art, collection or antiques sold for more than 5,000 euros are taxed at 6%. For all other goods over 5,000 euros, a tax of 19% applies. On the other hand, so-called “furnishing” furniture (for the use and decoration of homes, within the meaning of the Civil Code), household appliances and automobiles are exempt.

Income taxed in the event of capital gains

Everything changes if you buy or manufacture goods yourself in order to resell them and profit from a capital gain. In this case, this income is taxable. There are then two scenarios:

If your annual income is less than 176,200 euros (but nevertheless higher than the minimum allowance of 305 euros), you are taxed on 29% of your income, according to the micro-entrepreneurs regime called micro-BIC (for “industrial and commercial profits”), unless you have chose the actual diet. “But this regime is generally less advantageous”, observes Manuela Bitton, since with him the despondency disappears. You must also pay VAT, if your income exceeds 85,800 euros.

If your annual income is greater than 176,200 euros, the “real” tax regime applies and covers the operating costs of your activity.

Ditto for Airbnb rentals

Similar rules apply to the rental of accommodation, as offered by Airbnb. Below 72,600 euros in revenue from the rental of a classic furnished apartment, the micro-BIC regime entails a tax on 50% of the rents collected, explains the Ministry of the Interior. Provided that the annual revenues are located above the floor of 305 euros.

The owner may however prefer the real regime, which also automatically applies above 72,600 euros in annual revenue or 176,200 euros for guest rooms and classified tourist accommodation, explains Manuela Bitton. With the real scheme, the fees and charges of income are deducted from the income to be declared.

But what about membership fees? Again, there are two scenarios. If the annual revenue is less than 23,000 euros, “This is a non-professional furnished rental”, enlightens Manuela Bitton. In this case, the income is not subject to social contributions “But subject to social security contributions at the rate of 17.2%”. Otherwise, it is a professional furnished rental which is subject to social security contributions.

Be careful, therefore, to note and verify your income from platforms on your tax return, emphasizes Manuela Bitton: “With this data fed back from the platforms, the tax administration can make comparisons of information and inconsistencies are more easily detected.”