by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 14th 2009 2:11pm
It wasn't difficult to predict that this day was coming -- especially with both China and Australia already experimenting with charging taxes on virtual goods and transactions in virtual worlds. However, Game Politics points us to the news that the US's "taxpayer advocate" (we have such a thing?) is now suggesting the IRS start taxing transactions in virtual worlds as well. While the initial suggestion is for the IRS to just issue "guidelines" for taxpayers, that's the start down the path to active taxation in those worlds. This could get troublesome fast -- as you could easily see scenarios where kids who thought they were just playing a game suddenly owe significant real world taxes, just because they've been successful in the game and accumulated "valuable" assets. It seems fairly pointless, and potentially troublesome, to do any kind of taxation on virtual transaction until such time as real dollars exchange hands.
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