Centrelink limits for eBay income

When selling items on eBay or similar, does Centrelink monitor this income?

Smartphone with eBay app against computer keyboard

Barbara is selling on eBay some items that she no longer needs or wants, but she's concerned that Centrelink may treat the money she makes as income. 

Q. Barbara
I am on a full Age Pension and have no assets (other than my home), no business or job in the outside workplace.

However, for the past couple of weeks, I have been selling some of my unwanted quilting fabric through a Facebook group, with the buyers depositing their purchase funds into my bank account, to which, of course, Centrelink has access.

I would like to know if this money would be presumed as ‘income’ by Centrelink and whether I have to declare it. What are the rules and regulations of which I should be aware when selling personal items via any medium such as eBay, Gumtree, Etsy or Facebook, where a ‘digital footprint’ is apparent in my bank account?

A. If you’re selling the odd item on eBay, then you’re fine. However, Centrelink does need to know if you’re earning a substantial income from such practices – a sum of $20,000 per annum is what has been quoted previously. 

You may find this article on the ABC website useful, and you should always confirm with Human Services if you are unsure or concerned about how much you’re earning.

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    COMMENTS

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    johninmelb
    5th Dec 2016
    11:13am
    Here again is this furphy that Centrelink has access to your bank accounts.

    They do not have unfettered access where they can just go in any old time and check. Privacy laws still exist even if you think they don't.

    What Centrelink does have, is the right to request details from you or the bank, and if fraud is suspected, they must be provided. They use data matching from a variety of sources to check on suspicious activity, along with tip offs from the public of course.

    I have never once been queried about any of my bank accounts. About every 6 months I print out all the balance statements, and go down to Centrelink to update my file. I voluntarily give them the information regularly, as I am using some of my savings to supplement my part pension. After each visit, I always get a small rise in my pension, as my assets have decreased.

    I don't like Centrelink any more than the rest of you here. BUT, if you work with them, and do the right thing, then they won't bother you. That is not to say you won't have a run in with them over something one day. Sadly that's a given. But I have had no problems since going on the Pension. I used to have regular run-ins with them on the few occasions I was on New Start years ago. I have no doubt there is a big red cross on the front of my file warning them I can be difficult to deal with!!

    So can we put this misinformation to bed once and for all.
    Greg
    6th Dec 2016
    9:04am
    Recently I applied for a Low Income Health Care Card and this was the first time I'd accessed my Centrelink details for over 10 years. Lots of bank accounts came up with their balances - and all but one I had closed years ago. It' was obvious they don't get automatically updated balances/accounts.
    johninmelb
    6th Dec 2016
    12:39pm
    No, your file does not get updated until you initiate any action. Everything you ever told them stays there until you tell them that the account is closed etc.

    Same happened to me when I put in my Age Pension application, loads of old information that had to be cleared out, or updated.
    musicveg
    5th Dec 2016
    7:32pm
    The article by ABC is not useful, it talks about people running businesses. Here we are talking about people selling a few things to make ends meet. And why can't we sell off some furniture or fabric or whatever we are not using etc. After all we have paid money for it previously and we are just recouping some money spent from pensions etc. nothing to do with running a big time business is it?
    johninmelb
    5th Dec 2016
    9:24pm
    Nothing at all.

    I have been slowly decluttering my unit over the last couple of years, and trying to get rid of surplus stuff on gumtree.

    Not everything sells, and basically you get two tenths of bugger all for it if it does sell. But it makes me a few bucks which I use for a meal out occasionally. This year, I made enough to buy a new external hard drive to back up my computer. Hardly big time business!