The Department of Revenue has just posted on its homepage a humorous and informative video on the question of whether items sold at a yard sale are taxable under the state's laws governing sales and use tax.
At the risk of spoiling the end of this short video, the quick answer is "no." But don't take my word for it; check out the video on DOR's homepage at www.mass.gov/dor. There are a host of other informative videos on the site that are short, sweet and insightful on a variety of tax topics
The yard sale video makes reference to one of the most commonly referenced DOR publications, A Guide to Sales and Use Tax.
This primer is the starting point for researching just about any sales tax question.
For instance, on the question of yard sales, the guide says that for casual and isolated sales, such "infrequent and nonrecurring transactions made by people or businesses not regularly engaged in the business of make such sales are exempt. For example, sales of used appliances by a homeowner or sales at infrequent yard sales are exempt."