16/09/2022 Two States Start Taxing NFTs

Washington and Pennsylvania wade into a largely unregulated marketplace

A visitor at theSeattle NFT Museum in WashingtonA visitor at theSeattle NFT Museum in Washington, one of the first states to taxnon-fungible tokensPhoto by Jason Redmond / AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this summer, Washington and Pennsylvania became the first two states to tax the sale of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. If other states follow their lead, the NFT marketplace, which has relied heavily on anonymity and a lack of government oversite, could face new challenges.

In June, Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue “quietly” designated NFTs as taxable, though it provided no further instruction, reportsHyperallergic’s Jasmine Liu. Then, in July, Washington’s Department of Revenue released astatementlaying out preliminary taxation guidance, which indicates that the state will eventually require sellers to document where purchases take place.

Both states could retroactively collect money related to NFT sales going back several years. The reason, perHyperallergic, is that the new guidelines are both “[interpretations of] existing law rather than enactments of entirely new legislation.”

NFTsare unreplicable digital files, which can take the form of anything from concert tickets to Twitter profile pictures. (At the moment, they are particularly popularwithin the art market.) They are a “proof of ownership over a digital item,”Wired’s Eric Ravenscraft writes, which is part of the draw of owning one—the value derives from its exclusivity.

Some NFTs are indeed quite valuable: NFT sales hit $25 billion in 2021,Reuters’Elizabeth Howcroft reports. In March 2021, the artist Beeple sold one of his NFTs for$69 million. Earlier this year, the artist Pak sold his NFT artwork, titledClock, for over$52 million.

NFTs have always had detractors, who denounce them asget-rich-quick schemes, among other criticisms. And the 2022 cryptocurrency market isn’t booming the way it did in 2021. Still, where money can be made, money can be taxed—and state revenue officials are taking notice, New York lawyer Amelia K. Brankov tells theArt Newspaper’s Daniel Grant.

Another defining feature of NFTs is the baked-in anonymity. NFT transactionsoccur on the blockchain, which allows people to buy and sell without being traced. This feature will complicate how NFTs are taxed in Washington and Pennsylvania, explainsArtforum, since many transactions occur between unidentified buyers and sellers in unknown locations.

“Previously, sellers and buyers of NFTs weren’t evading taxes—they were merely enjoying the lack of regulations,” writesARTnewsShanti Escalante-De Mattei. “Whether people are willing to explicitly evade taxes is a different matter entirely.”

For over 80 years, the Scurlock photography studio catalogued the lives of the black middle class of Washington, D.C (The exhibit, The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise, is on view at the National Museum of American History through November 15, 2009. Thanks to Lonnie Bunch, Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which co-organized the exhibit)

Arts

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nft-taxation-washington-pennsylvania-180980744/

Interesting NFTs
The Harvest
An anthropomorphic figure stands, wide eyed, staring at the viewer; its body masculine, muscular, and humanoid. Its “mind” dissociates into a conglomerate of structures resembling feathers, grain, teeth–as well as a radial flower “node”, casting linear rays throughout the composition. To his left, a vat of bodies gesture and writhe in a kind of amniotic soup, attended by a video game robot. The bot's red display reads “uWu”. Behind the robot and filling the left side of the composition is an archaic figure composed of a variety of vintage objects and symbols. Among them are a hardbound book with ancient cuneiform scripts, indicating barley, beer, bread, ox, house, and sky, behind which is a grimacing, salivating jagged toothed maw; and an old Commodore floppy drive. The figure’s head tilts toward an illuminated crescent moon, suggesting the Egyptian Sacred Bull. The archaic figure is composed of a variety of mutating cells, which shift in color, and pattern; eventually breaking free into an ephemeral broadcast of bubbles which move across the background. The work came into being against a psychological introspection, which included associations to pop culture such as alien abduction and pod people, as well as quite a bit of reflection on grains as a symbol of civilization, agriculture, sustenance, life, and imbibing (mainly whiskies).
Immortalz #1530
IMMORTALZ are a league of 10 000 multi-verse assassin that have escaped their reality. Govern and created by the ETHER Gods, these assassins will be looking for a new master!
#84603
By OthersideDeployer
30K
Artist notes: the halving ceremony is the most unusual part of modern bitcoin production in which the owners bet on how efficiently an alpha can inseminate the market.
The River of Emeralds
Golden conditions at one of my favorite locations in the Rockies. The light, the colors, the textures; what more can you ask for? I just loved the way this river flowed into the sunset and the mountains in the background. It's rare you find a scene as perfect as this one. But when you do, you have to take advantage of it.