South Korea claims tax on Virtual Goods

Worlds In Motion (which I’ll get back to later) reports that Korea’s National Tax Service (NTS) “has begun adding the new tax automatically to all virtual transactions involving real money as of July 1st, says the report, translated as follows:

Sellers who do between 6 and 12 million won ($6,500 – $13,000)/half year in
business will have VAT auto applied by transaction’s middle-man.

Sellers who do more than 12 million won/half year in business will need a
business will need a business license and will pay the tax by themselves”

My initial reaction was “Wow! What a great way to expose gold farmers!” . At the same time, though it feels like gaming is becoming increasingly more complicated. But the thing I like about it is that it’s about virtual property being traded in for real-money – not taxation on the actual virtual goods. I’m glad about that. Just because people out there willing to pay $100 for my virtual iPhone doesn’t mean that I should be taxed for owning it or selling it on in-world for virtual money. Also – leigha cleverly points out the obvious:

“The interesting complication comes in when you take note of the fact that,
according to the report, many online games stipulate in their terms of service
that in-game goods and currency are actually property of the developers, not the
users. Thus far, the industry has yet to clarify its stance on the issue,
so it’s still unclear who, exactly, will be legally responsible for actually
paying the tax”.

Too right!

Which brings us to “Worlds in Motion“! Just when you thought you had found a balance to keep your head above the rss water along comes another blog that just promises to be amazing. It’s from the gamedeveloper research team – which in itself is a seal of approval in my book! ;)

WorldsInMotion.biz will report on virtual worlds as we compile information
on this increasingly important market.

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