Tribune: Made money reselling concert tickets? Don’t just “Shake it Off”

If you have not yet bought tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour, be prepared to lay out some serious cash. Reportedly, fans attempting to buy tickets through Ticketmaster crashed the website last November. The alternative was to buy tickets through resale sites — for thousands of dollars. One floor seat ticket for Swift’s East Rutherford, New Jersey, show was selling for $31,500 on StubHub.1 Other tickets were listed for at least $12,000 on Gametime. For her part, Swift said that it was “excruciating” to watch the Ticketmaster meltdown (cue Swift singing “Teardrops on My Guitar”).

Resellers of these concert tickets may not realize that the money they make from the resale is subject to federal tax, and they may fail to report it (cue Swift’s “I Did Something Bad”). With such high ticket sale prices, it will be easy to exceed the threshold for the 1099-K reporting requirements for third-party settlement organizations like StubHub. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, the $20,000 per payee or 200 transaction thresholds for filing 1099-Ks has been replaced by the considerably lower $600 per-payee threshold (but the implementation of this has been delayed for now). So the resale of just one Taylor Swift ticket will potentially soar through the threshold once it is implemented.

Obviously many more people will be receiving 1099-Ks once the new threshold goes into effect. The amount must be reported and will be taxed as ordinary income (cue Swift’s “Don’t Blame Me”).