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Colorado Flea and Farmer’s Market Sales Tax Rules 2012


In Colorado, the failure to obtain a sales tax license is a “…class 3 misdemeanor and may result in the imposition of penalties,” so Colorado has updated Publication Sales 55: Sales Tax Requirements for Flea Market and Swap Meet Operators to ensure flea market vendors understand when they have to register to collect sales tax and when they don’t.

Whether or not you are registered to collect sales tax, it is required that sales tax be collected on sales made at a flea market. Since Colorado is a home rule state, vendors will need to contact city and county of each flea market location where they participate in order to ensure they understand the rules for that location and what rate of sales tax should be applied.

Vendors Who Do Not Need To Register

Publication Sales 55 states, “If you are selling items that are your personal possessions, and do not sell or trade more than five weekends in a calendar year, you are not required to have a sales tax license. If, however, you are selling items which you purchased for resale, or you sell or trade more than five weekends in a calendar year, you must have a sales tax license.”

Even if you are not required to register, “…you should collect and remit the tax to the flea market or swap meet operator. Unlicensed vendors are considered to be selling at retail under the license issued to the operator.”

Vendors Who Are Required to Register

Vendors who are “…selling tangible personal property…purchased for resale…are required to obtain a sales tax license.” Vendors who are already licensed for a primary business location “…must still obtain a separate sales tax license if you plan to make separate sales at a flea market or similar event. You must have a sales tax license for each location where you are selling at retail.”

Types of Licenses

There are a few different state licenses based on your attendance at the events. “If you plan on selling at a market for only a day, you should obtain a single event license…. If you plan on selling on a regular basis, you will need a standard sales tax license.”

It can take four to six weeks to receive the license, so plan accordingly.

Collecting State And Local Sales

Whether or not you are registered to collect sales tax, the flea market operator will provide you with a remittance envelope to record your sales and remit the sales tax collected to the operator.

If you are licensed to collect and remit sales tax, you will only record your sales and tax collected, then return the envelope for recordkeeping purposes. You will still remit sales tax collected directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

If you are not registered, you will need to record the tax and remit the sales tax so the operator can remit the tax on your behalf.

Mobile Solutions

If you are a regular vendor at flea markets and seasonal events and use your mobile device for recording and processing transactions, there are automated, cloud-based solutions that can deliver accurate sales tax calculations for each location where you participate—immediately, within your mobile device and during the transaction. No manual calculations and adding into the sales price and all sales tax is recorded in a central location for easy sales tax return creation. Learn more today….

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”