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News US to tax virtual worlds?

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

  1. themax

    themax New Member

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    The only people who need to be worried are those who have literally setup shop within this virtual worlds and have been earning quite a substantial living. While the games are hosted in the U.S. I don't think they have the power to tax those who have established accounts within the game from another country because they aren't a legal residents. It affects noone but those who are earning a living by selling their virtual goods. Atleast I enterpret the whole thing as such. And really, we have noone but ourselves to blame. Everyone wants to make a quick buck, well now they've made so much more than that; the governemt has taken notice and would like to see funds from such transactions. The minute we placed value on that World of Warcraft gold, we gave the U.S. Government all the more reason to treat as such and seek interest in taxing it.
     
  2. SPQQKY

    SPQQKY Evil Modder

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    That sums it up quite nicely. If you live in the US, your income should be taxed, irregardless of where it comes from, end of story. They could never put property tax on a virtual world, you cannot tax something that isn't tangiable. You can and should, however, tax income.
     
  3. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Good point, though I doubt the government would be able to implement the taxing schematic without overcoming a few serious obstacles. Firstly, they'd need to find a way authenticate your citizenship--not quite that easy in a game established on the premise of anonymity. Secondly, it's the Internet, you'd be able to easily manipulate your identity (the purpose of the game). Pseudo-accurate IP address tracing will not work as the Internet subscriber, which is not always you, will be charged income tax (somehow connecting your social insurance with the privatized ISP market). Lastly, players are subject to US jurisdiction if the server is hosted in an American territory and subject to the same user agreement. If the implementation somehow succeeds in spite of these difficulties and if players were taxed in America for their generated income from selling large volumes of game assets, then American sellers will be doing massive outsourcing to work around this minor obstacle. Different instances of user agreements for unique regions for the same game doesn't make sense...

    *sorry. Went to a meeting and lost my train of thought:confused: Will continue this post when I figure out where my thoughts left off...*

    Even though it may only affect businesses/individuals with substantial income, the taxed revenue would amount to nearly nothing (they'd be better off just printing the money themselves). If anything, I see this as an alibi to penetrate :)rolleyes: no allusion to goatse intended) into the online community for a future agenda.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2007
  4. SPQQKY

    SPQQKY Evil Modder

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    Well, I understand their reasoning on income tax, but I really don't think they could come up with a way to put it into affect. Not without years of red tape, law suits, etc.. Although I don't always agree with my government, I'm a patriot none the less and realize no one person nor one single nation is perfect and I am content with that. As Americans we do have a right to change the things we don't like, unfortunately we are mostly too lazy or too apathetic and don't exercise our rights properly. Then we often complain about the situation we are in when we could have done something about it in the first place.
     
  5. Amon

    Amon inch-perfect

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    Yeah, I think that's what I intended to conclude with before I lost my train of thought. Thanks.
     
  6. theSarge00

    theSarge00 New Member

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    I just find it interesting that the bulk of the bile spilled in this thread seems to be coming from the people who, if they stopped to think, couldn't possibly be affected by any US tax (unless they imposed some sort of import tax, which is very unlikely, unless the money transfers were handled through some sort of official channel). Whereas many of the posts from Americans seem to understand that, while annoying, paying taxes on income generated while enjoying the benefits of living here, is fair due.

    While I can't even imagine what sort of secret agenda might be involved in penetrating virtual worlds, I can see where they (lawmakers) might wave their arms around because they are seeing a sector of American culture (world culture, admittedly, but one in which americans are involved) they have indefinite influence on, and for good or ill, we grant them the power to look after that sort of thing for our own protection - if we denied them influence on say murderers, then we would have nowhere to turn should murder enter our lives.

    However, other than voluntary declaration of funds accrued in this way, I don't see a practical method for them to monitor it. At worst, all it would mean to our international brethren would be the restriction of Americans to be involved in such online worlds, which I imagine would suit you folks fine. You'd have the online worlds you built ...hurm..okay maybe there is a flaw there....
     
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