We all have those childhood memories of trying to sell something that we've made. The most popular of all is the classic lemonade stand.

I was on a neighborhood forum where a woman was sounding off that kids down the street were running an "illegal lemonade stand".  She said she was ridiculed when she tried to explain to the parents that it is illegal to have the stand.  Apparently, she was even told to leave the premises.

This little "episode" had me wondering if she was right.  Could something as sweet and simple as a childhood lemonade stand be illegal?!?!?

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

First of all, this woman sounds like an old curmudgeon who also yells at kids to "get off her lawn" but after some research, believe it or not, it is illegal in most states for a kid to run a lemonade stand!  The reason given is because there is no regulation of the contents which you are selling.  If you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you too.  Do you think that they are really concerned about food and safety standards?  Yet somehow if a license is purchased, now the consumer is guaranteed a more pure glass of lemonade?  Obviously, that is bogus and that law got reversed back in 2011 in our state.  A permit is no longer required.

However, there's another kick in the pants you may not know about.  Let's say your kid absolutely kills the lemonade game.  Maybe they do it all summer and they actually make some good money.  Did you know that Uncle Sam wants his cut?  It's true. Your kid would have to file a tax return as a minor. IRS.gov states,

Everyone, including minors, must file a tax return if they had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. If they owe taxes, teens and young adults should file their own tax return, even if their parent or guardian claims them as a dependent. Teens and young adults can prepare and sign their own tax return.

Thankfully, in New Jersey, at least kids don't have to buy the permit/license anymore.  However, no budging on the taxes.  You learn something new every day.

Here's another blast from the past. These are stores your parents shopped at that no longer exist.



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