May 20, 2004 - Columbus, Ohio
- Tax Enforcement Agents Shopping for Ohio Flea Market
Violations 62 vendors cited for not having
licenses; visits to other markets planned
Columbus -- COLUMBUS (May 20) Ohio
Department of Taxation (ODT) enforcement agents, in visits to
seven flea markets recently, cited a total of 62 merchants of
256 contacted for making retail sales without vendors’
Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins said the visits were
prompted, in part, by complaints from merchants who were
properly licensed but were being undersold by unlicensed
merchants who weren’t collecting tax.
“It’s a matter of fairness, and it’s the law. Everyone needs
to be playing by the same rules. You need a vendor’s license
to sell in Ohio,” Wilkins said. “That goes for sales at a big
department store or a little stand at a flea market.”
ODT enforcement agents visited three flea markets in
southwest Ohio (Caesar’s Creek, Turtle Creek, Trader’s
World), two in the Cleveland area (Jamie’s Flea Market and
the East Side Flea Market) and two in the Toledo area
(Cardinal Flea Market and Ed Wahl Flea Market).
Those cited face fines of $25 to $100 and civil assessments
for unpaid back taxes. Agents also found flea market
operators keeping sloppy or incomplete records, which can
subject them to fines.
Vendors at flea markets or any exhibition in Ohio where sales
are made are bound by the following rules:
--If a vendor sells in one county, the vendor’s license must
be obtained from the auditor of that county.
--A vendor who makes sales in more than one county must have
a transient vendor’s license. The license can be obtained
from any ODT Taxpayer Service Center or downloaded from the
ODT web site at: tax.ohio.gov/ Licenses obtained at a county
auditor’s office or an ODT taxpayer service center can be
issued the day of application. Vendors can check the ODT web
site or call 800-282-1782 toll free for an application. The
web site also carries addresses of all ODT Taxpayer Service
--A vendor’s license cost is $25. Transient vendors’ licenses
must be prominently displayed.
--The sales tax charged is the sales tax rate for the county
in which the sales are made. Sales tax rates vary from county
to county in Ohio.
--ODT enforcement officers also check for tobacco products
sold at flea markets to make sure all tobacco taxes have been
paid and tobacco licenses are posted.
--Finally, operators of such events must keep vendor records.
The records shall include the vendors’ names, permanent
addresses, vendors’ license numbers and types of goods sold.
Such records must be kept four years, and they are subject to
inspection by the Ohio Tax Commissioner. Failure to keep
records can result in fines of from $25 to $100.
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Attachment: Flea Market Vendors’ Fact
For more information contact Gary Gudmundson, Director of