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News US to tax virtual worlds?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 26 Jun 2007.

  1. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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    Am I the only one who found this article accusatory, specifically the first sentence? The congress is simply going to discuss the matter and decide whether or not it's worthwhile or necessary to tax online income and this somehow implies greed? Joe sounds like he's demonizing them just for DISCUSSING the matter. They are still nowhere near enacting anything like this, and it's anyones guess whether or not they will. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of people who make hefty amounts of money by selling virtual goods. It's as much of a taxable income as anything if this is what a person does for a living. If anything a law like this should be a positive; it adds legitimacy to a very quickly growing online business model.

    Ask yourself this question. Bob over there makes $1200 a month selling virtual goods in Second Life. He makes a full living off of this income and does not have a "normal" job. Jim across the street is a gas station attendant that makes $1200 dollars a month gross and on top of that has all of his income taxed and tapped by social security. Being a gas station attendant is Jim's only source of income and his only full-time job. Why should Bob be able to make all of this income completely tax free doing what is essentially his full-time job where as Jim's hit with income tax every single week?
     
  2. BurningFeetMan

    BurningFeetMan New Member

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    What the heck! I pay my tax when I buy the game from the store via GST... How can you tax a fictional in game currency?! You can't, that's how.
     
  3. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    And what about all of us that DON'T live in the sham of a nation? Then what? Are we intended to fill out some form of taxation forms and other **** like that, send them across a nation - or across the globe - just because some country wants to rob a slice of the pie?

    The way the article is penned is that games will now come with taxes to make them MORE damn expensive, but not to tax the people who make money off of gold farming and the like. Technically, yes, you do have to declare those incomes, but i really wonder how many people do - or even bother to keep track of it.

    More than that - just how many american gold farmers do you think there are? Just take a look at EvE online - farmers usually sell a billion isk for around $70. A billion takes a good while to get. You're not going to be casually leaning back on your oak chair, watching waves idly lap the beachfront beyond your marble tiled pool, laughing as you use a single finely manicured hand to observe your ongoings "good show gentlemen, i've just made another 10 Million dollars off of my farming! And all the none the wiser to uncle sam!

    Yeah, no. 90% of the farmers i've seen are from nations around the world - where the states has no claim, reason, or right.

    So to cut back to the chase - the ONLY just taxing here is on people making cash money from the games. Else, fail.
     
  4. mikeuk2004

    mikeuk2004 What you Looking at Fool!

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    What he said ^^^^
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    I can see this getting heated... Don't let your dislike of the current American government blind you to the facts and arguments.

    Fozzy and Neogumbercules have a good point. It is a bit too easy (and possibly a cheap shot?) to dismiss this policy as just another example of American greed. There are people making a tidy little income from virtual world business. Good on them, but it is a (occasionally substantial) source of income. And although their earnings from virtual business is made in the virtual world, the public health care, services and benefits (such as they are) that these people enjoy are definitely in the real world, funded by real tax payers' real money.

    And make no mistake: this is bigger business than you think. Julian Dibbell, a contributing editor for Wired magazine, challenged himself in 2003 to spend a year making a living as a retailer in the massively multiplayer game Ultima Online. Dibbell sold in-game items, currency and real estate on eBay, eventually making almost $4,000 a month in profits, translating into roughly a $36,000-a-year salary. And Dibbell says that his income only qualifies as lower-middle class among virtual businessmen.

    "There are people making six figures," Dibbell as been quoted. "One-man operations, basically, doing seven figures. It's not hard to make money doing this."

    Blizzard, the publisher of World of Warcraft, banned over 30,000 gamers who were using automated processes to harvest gold, and removed over 30 million gold pieces ($4,048,582, according to GameUSD.com's latest exchange rate) from the game's economy. Everquest, if it was a real country, would be the 77th richest in the world.

    The most bizarre manifestations of the phenomenon are small companies that set up sweatshops of (sometimes illegal immigrant) workers to play Ultima Online or World of Warcraft all day to generate virtual money for them.

    The worlds may be virtual, but the business is all too real.
     
  6. Miser

    Miser New Member

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    Woah, you hold up, my friend. I am from Missouri and I didn't read anything that set me off like it did you. Far too many USinites( :naughty: ) are way too sensitive to words that aren't the most endearing to the US of A. Read, think, absorb or discard, chill. :thumb:

    OT: I can see the ligitamacy of taxing substancial dollar earnings through virtual avenues, even if you had to pay taxes up front when you bought the game. Buy a tractor, get taxed - cultivate and sell a crop of corn, you get taxed again, right?
     
  7. Fozzy

    Fozzy New Member

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    Sham of a nation? It's the greatest nation in the world and I'm not going to go into why. BUT NO they wouldn't tax you or even try to. There would be no taxes for people out of the country that's a ridiculous thing to say. Also people farming gold aren't doing it themselves they are running multiple bots on multiple accounts 24/7 usually while working a regular job. In the Diablo 2 era I had a friend who raked in $10,000 in one month. Even at $10,000 that's an income and It should be taxed. I even told my friend this. Also this is not going to be added into the developers hands but the people selling stuff from the game. The game industry is already taxed. But you already know that because you live in the USA, have read the constitution, Follow up on political subject, and have voted for a senator and a president to represent you.....ohh wait, you haven't because your a stupid "bloody" Brit or some other euro that sit's back and think's he's so goddamn glorified behind his keyboard. Know your facts idiot.
     
  8. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    I find it that in the same post that you firstly claim your nation as "the greatest" (Error 1), you tell me to know my facts because i'm an "idiot" (Error 2), then follow up by chalking my "ignorance" to the fact that i'm some "bloody brit" (watch the words - look at the nationality of the forum you're on) or "some other euro that sits back and thinks he's so goddamn glorified behind his keyboard) (Error 3).

    Thusly, in rersponse to these three errors (greivous? Maybe) We note the facts:

    Fact 1: Norway, according to the United Nations is the greated country to live in (Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index)
    Fact 2: See Fact One, Google, or the fact that 99% of my posts are based on prior knowledge, or helpful notts.
    Fact 3: I have a nice little thing under my post counter, i believe it is. That says Location. I don't think there's a Canada, England. Nor, a Canada, Euro. (EU, for symantics sake)

    And on the note of vote based politics - it never sat well with me to try and let somebody else "represent" me when the most they'll use my ideals for is a rag to help wipe off their agenda. Not saying that a good leader can't make a good nation though. Just saying that when millions put out that first vote at the start of the first term, boy-oh-boy didn't they expect what they were about to get into.

    Side Note: Excuse any typos, please (IE7 doesn't have a filter, and i'm too lazy to open word, FF)
    Side-Side Note: Done yet Fozzy? This is getting boring. I was just riling, I don't much like overzealous Americans. Sure, your country is good and all, but let's face it, showing that index, you'd best be with me in shaking fists at Norway for being the best. (no offense to the Norweigans, mind you).

    Edit In Reply:

    Aye, tax is a fun little one. And for the things that some love to do, but are ever so horrible for you, us Canucks are taxed many times - take for example liquour - $35 for a 40 anyone? Taxed on import, taxed on sale. Tobacco? Taxed on the raw goods, taxed on the products, then GST+PST/HST (depends on province). Hell, it's like taxing it twice or thrice is the Canadian way :thumb: (since don't forget, goods coming to your retailers will be hit with sales tax on every supplier along the way too!):hehe:
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2007
  9. Faulk_Wulf

    Faulk_Wulf Internet Addict

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    You know, I was just going to bitch about the unjust things this country does,
    and the stupid things too. However, it looks like that has been done for me
    by people on both sides of the ocean. So instead I'll simply summerize my
    one big "ditto" with: Since when do we own the internet? (Gore doesn't count... :p )
     
  10. buchans

    buchans New Member

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    I play entropia universe and know ppl who are taking many £k's out each month, I'd like to see how the US plans on enforcing this and hope the UK doesnt follow too :(
     
  11. Wolfe

    Wolfe New Member

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    Hey! I live in America, and even I can see that what the government is currently trying to pull is Bullsh**.

    If you judge a country by what it does, America is getting pretty damn Authoritarianistic these days.

    The people in the Whitehouse just scream "OMGZ TERRORISTS LOL!1!!" and expect everyone to do what they say without thinking.
     
  12. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Your first step creating a better America would be to elect a competent leader. I'm still wondering how the current president was re-elected in 2004. But that isn't the point.

    It would be great if corporations would consent with the community before doing this. If the vote is a landslide "get lost" (which is inevitable), then they should take a hint: [​IMG].
     
  13. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    If you want to know how america re-elected their current leader in 2k4, keep in mind that a fair deal of the country still operates on the git'r'done policy.
     
  14. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    And more than half of Americans believe in an *actual* devil as a physical entity with red skin and horns. Bush is clearly the choice for extreme christians, a group which always votes in force.

    An amusing fact I read yesterday, without meaning to imply anything or give bias, is that if you apparently remove place names from a globe, but leave borders intact then around 70% of Americans will, when asked where America is, point to Russia because it's the largest continent.
     
  15. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Ahahahaha!
     
  16. themax

    themax New Member

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    From US Taxing virtual incomes to more attacks on the Unites States as a whole. Way to go guys. This thread should be locked honestly. None of you can have a competent conversation without blindly insulting the Unite States. Nexxo even had to put you guys in your place, and he takes up his own Issues with U.S. Policy (without resorting to pretty insults).
     
  17. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Post #32, my post, was the last one pertaining to the topic. As far as I can see, no insult was intended in the replies thereafter.
     
  18. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Sorry if you felt my post was insulting, but I explicitly stated it wasn't meant to be. You can make statistics say whatever you want and the UK has enough problems of its own (teen pregnancy, binge drinking etc)

    Still, on the other hand people do have a right to express a point of view opposite to yours and, as long as it's in the boundaries of good taste and not hatefully based, they're allowed to do that.
     
  19. themax

    themax New Member

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    I have no problem with someone expressing a point of view. But they should try to do it without calling someone a "Stupid Brit" or referring to another country as a "Sham of a Nation". It's really not necessary.

    As for the Taxing. I don't see why some of you think the U.S. wants to Tax those outside of it's borders. How could they? They are (to my knowledge) talking strictly of those in the U.S. who make quite a hefty living on virtual worlds and pay nothing into the government they draw resources from. My money is taxed before it even reaches my bank account, why should someone else be rewarded with their entire gross income (probably more than I may gross) while I have to pay into something they could be potentially drawing from (Welfare, Social Security, ect..). It's not fair, and their "jobs" be it virtual or not, needs to be taxed just like the rest of the work force if they are making a substantial income from it.
     
  20. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    We are concerned about the taxing, though not US residents, because the game servers are hosted in the United States. Therefore, they are governed by US law in their entirety. Virtual employment is another issue where taxing is sensible (and federally mandated, essentially). But property tax is way out of the question. Would you want to lease territory in a game, Second Life, from your government?
     
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