With the burgeoning popularity of online roleplaying in the virtual societies of Second Life, Ultima, Entropia Universe, World of Warcraft and others, there is money to be made, and not just in Linden Dollars (the currency of Second Life). Where there is commerce, can the IRS be far behind? In his new book, "Play Money: or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot " Julian Dibbells discusses his success in the business of selling make-believe commodities, and on his blog recounts his statement to the IRS "My primary source of income is the sale of imaginary goods."
Real tax on un-real estate?
Valuation of non-material goods?
Tax policies for fantasy worlds?
Tax on the transfer of virtual assets?
Interesting questions. After all, Section 61 of the U.S. Tax Code states that all income "from whatever source" is taxable. For more information on virtual property taxation, there are many interesting discussions on the Video Game Law Blog.
It's a whole new (virtual) ball game out there.
Posted by Patricia Bingham-Harper