Garage sales are a part of Americana. They are popular all across the United States.  A recent survey in Texas found that we are not among the ten most popular or least popular states for yard/garage sales. Texas is somewhere in the middle.

Five Texas cities rank far about average for yard sales. Those include  Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and College Station.

Check the classifieds on any given summer or spring weekend in Texas, and you'll find a lot of yard/garage sales.

These types of sales can be a great way to make some extra cash.  Unfortunately, they can cause you problems with The State of Texas.

Texas sales tax is normally due whenever you sell tangible personal property. This includes clothing, shoes, CDs, DVDs, books, furniture, bicycles, toys, and other personal items typically sold in garage/yard sales.

If you routinely sell items through the internet or an advertisement, you may need to obtain a Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit and collect sales tax.

However, you may qualify for Texas' "occasional sales" exemption if you only occasionally sell personal items. To qualify, you must meet either of these two requirements.

First, if you only sell one or two taxable items during any 12-month period. The price of the items does not matter. If you sell more than two, a sales tax permit must be obtained, and sales tax must be withheld on all items after the first two.

Second, if you sell items originally bought for you or family members for personal use and don't make more than $3000 on those during a calendar year, you may sell as many items as you like until you hit the $3000 threshold.

You do not qualify for the occasional sales exemption if you sell items for student or church group sales. You cannot claim the exemption if you must pay a fee or commission to participate in events such as flea markets, arts and craft shows, or other community sales.

To learn more, you can log on to the Comptroller of Texas website regarding the sales tax requirements for these types of sales.

It Victoria, there is a garage sale fee. Permits cost $10. An additional $3 convenience fee is added if purchased through the city website. The City of Victoria has a website that answers all the relevant questions you might have about having a garage sale in the city.

Being informed before you have a yard or garage sale is always a good idea. The last thing you want is to have to forfeit the profits of your sale to the city or state in penalties and fines. You never know when a frenemy might turn you in.

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