Help > Advice for businesses > Tax and GST guide > Intention

Did you buy the goods with the intention of resale?

You don't have to be in business for the gains to be taxable. If you buy personal property with the dominant purpose of re-selling the item, the profit on the sale will be subject to income tax.


a) John sells his surfboard on Trade Me

John originally purchased a surfboard to try to learn to surf but gave up and no longer uses the surfboard. John subsequently sells the surfboard on Trade Me. John will not be subject to income tax on sale as the dominant purpose at the time of purchase was not resale.

b) Janette sells her son's bicycle on Trade Me

When Janette originally bought the bicycle the dominant purpose was for her son to learn to ride even though she knew that her son would eventually grow out of the bicycle and she would then have to on sell it. As the dominant purpose at the time of purchase was not resale then any gains on sale won't be taxable.

c) Mikaela imports an item to sell on Trade Me

Mikaela has imported an item with the intention of resale. Mikaela will be subject to income tax on this one-off sale and is required to declare the profit in her income tax return.

If this importing and re-selling becomes a regular activity for Mikaela she may be deemed to be in business. (See: Are you in business and selling on Trade Me as part of that business?)

Whilst importing goods Mikaela will also need to ensure she meets all applicable Customs regulations.