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6-29-2010 @ 6:09PM
actually unless im mistaken the income thing isnt entirely correct. they cant charge taxes on gold as income just because you could buy it. they could only charge taxes on it if you can trade the in game gold for actual real money. as long as blizzard doesnt let you cash it back out into real money that wouldnt be a problem.
6-29-2010 @ 6:21PM
I decided to refresh after typing out something to this effect, so I'll just add it here as a reply since you already brought it up:"Now that WoW gold has a value in our little made up world, and confers benefits to me, one could argue that my gold is income."I agree that Blizzard will never sell gold, but I have trouble understanding this argument.Walk into your local 7-11 and you already see cards hanging on the rack to buy in-game money for Farmville, etc. Does that mean that the taxman is going to start taxing all the coins that those players can earn in-game because those coins can also be purchased for real money?Things don't automatically become real live currency just because someone is able to pay for it. Artists, for example, can draw paintings all day long. Does this mean those paintings suddenly have automatic taxable value, just because someone could technically buy one of them?I'm just not understanding some of the argument laid out in the article...
6-29-2010 @ 6:25PM
Correct. You'd be buying a product (virtual gold) rather than exchanging one currency or another. It would only fall under sale of goods laws rather than income and currency exchange.
6-29-2010 @ 7:17PM
I think that the tax on gold argument doesn't fly, it's not a currency exchange, it's a bought product, and if the goverment deceided it was a currency and thus taxable on game income, it would go uglier faster for the goverment, can i pay all my taxes in game gold?and thinking of game gold as a product if it gets stolen (hacked account etc) and sold, is it a crime? (as viewed by a court of law) and can it be prosecuted?
6-29-2010 @ 7:20PM
@(cutaia) I hate to jump in with the "I'm a lawyer in real life" argument, but I am, so here it is: You are having a hard time understanding the article because it is legally incorrect. There is absolutely no legal authority to support this being an income tax. Blizzard will, of course, also insert some contract language in the TOS which stated that gold has no intrinsic value, is for entertainment only, etc. It's probably already in there, but I don't like reading boilerplate contracts anymore than a non-lawyer. It would be no different from buying a shiny e-horse for $25.If Blizzard allowed you to change your gold to currency, and Blizzard was sending you a check for US funds for turning in gold (lol at that ever happening) then, yes, you would have issues, especially in Europe with the VAT. It would be similar issues to what Second Life constantly goes through (fraud, etc.), but on a broader scale, and even they have eluded an outright slapping of illegality by the courts. The most obvious issue which I didn't see in the article is that not selling gold forces people to actually play the game, and pay $15 a month to do it.
6-29-2010 @ 7:44PM
"The most obvious issue which I didn't see in the article is that not selling gold forces people to actually play the game, and pay $15 a month to do it."Thank you, this is it in a nutshell. Blizzard has absolutely nothing to gain at all from making ingame currency purchasable, and way too much to lose.
6-29-2010 @ 11:54PM
You are wrong and right at the same time.If you can pay 5 dollars for 1000 gold in game then technically you can sell 1000g to a real life or in game friend for the same 5 dollars. So technically you will be able to exchange 1000g in game for 5 dollars real money thus meaning that every 1000g gained in game is 5 dollars of income.Of course the only way you would really be taxed on it is if there was proof that you sold it for real money or traded it for real services or products.
6-30-2010 @ 7:10AM
The difference between wow and other microtransaction based games is that I could theoretically get so good at trading that I'd have a serious income from it, and that's when the tax man would get a little suspicious.Other games like Farmville don't allow you to buy currency, make a trade, and then earn more currency in exchange.
6-30-2010 @ 8:04AM
@Chris"The most obvious issue which I didn't see in the article is that not selling gold forces people to actually play the game, and pay $15 a month to do it."As long as you pay up your monthly subscription, lesser crowded servers is actually better (I said lesser crowded not underpopulated or ghost towns).Best guess is people buying gold for RL cash _do_ intend to play some several months from now on. They just won't be farming Sons of Hodir/AT/whatever dailies and/or stalk AH so they can afford epic gems/enchants/crafted stuff/etc.
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