SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1106. Is a hobby a trade or business?

A hobby is not generally a trade or business. If you buy and sell stamps, pigeons, or coins to further the hobby rather than to make a profit, the activity is not a trade or business. If you conduct these activities to provide part or all of your livelihood, they may be a trade or business.

Consideration of the guidelines in §1101, in combination with the facts in each case, determine whether the activity is a trade or a business.