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In a virtual property first, Sweden’s Mindark, creator of the real cash economy-based game/virtual world Entropia Universe is, according to a post at Entropia Forum (which translates a Swedish article), creating wills to allow the inheritance of virtual property.  The article also discusses the tax situation regarding gains in Entropia. and notes, for what I believe is the very first time, that a revenue service is taxing virtual world activity (“since Spring”) under specific, implemented tax rules.

Regarding wills for transferring virtual property on death:

The company Mindark from Gothenburg will begin to draw up wills for their customers to cover the things they own in their virtual computer world.  It’s a natural development, says project manager Carl Uggla.

And regarding taxing profits made in virtual worlds:

The IRS [of Sweden] has since spring begun to tax the activities within online worlds. We’re not performing any bigger investigations. It’s more of a service and a way for us to be clear about the rules. I have got questions from several entrepreneurs who want to start activities in these worlds and about how they should go about it.  People want to do what’s right, says Dag Hardyson at the Swedish IRS.

Martina Bertilsson sees the IRS’s actions as the logical one.  It’s about validating this business sector, she says.  A lot of what happens online is still in a legislative gray area and open for pure legal interpretation, but there are now rules implemented regarding income tax for people living in Sweden, she says.

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3 Responses to “Entropia Creates Virtual Property Wills; Sweden Implements Tax Rules for Virtual Property”

  1. on 09 Sep 2008 at 10:20 amAshcroft Burnham

    It is not clear in respect of Sweden whether they are taxing monies at the point of conversion to a local currency, or are taxing the proceeds of enterprises that are never cashed out: in other words, taxing virtual currencies themselves.

    The distinction is an important one, since the former would be unremarkable, but the latter seriously oppressive (and probably unworkable).

  2. on 09 Sep 2008 at 7:16 pmStephen Wu

    Ben: the report in your post states that “The company Mindark from Gothenburg will begin to draw up wills for their customers to cover the things they own in their virtual computer world.”

    In this country, the state bars might see this kind of service as the unauthorized practice of law. To the extent Mindark is not a legal services company, and nothing would lead us to believe that it is, the company would not have a license to write up legal documents for its customers.

  3. on 09 Sep 2008 at 7:28 pmBenjamin Duranske

    @1 – no idea, I’d love to find out.

    @2 – it is a translation, so who knows.

    Along those lines, if there are any readers out there who read Swedish, I’d love a double check on the forum translation.

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