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  • Jose R. Beato

The Future of NFT Taxation: IRS Solicits Public Input on Treating NFTs as Collectibles

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has initiated a significant step towards demystifying the tax implications surrounding Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). It is actively seeking public input on whether NFTs should be classified and taxed as collectibles. With a deadline of June 19th for the feedback, the IRS aims to utilize this information to finalize how NFTs will be treated under U.S. tax law.

  1. Understanding the Background: Presently, U.S. tax law mandates a maximum capital gains tax rate of 28% on collectibles such as art pieces, stamps, and fine wine. The IRS is now questioning whether the same rate should be applied to NFTs, which certify the ownership of digital collectibles.

  2. Approach to Analysis: To gain a comprehensive understanding of NFT-related tax issues, the IRS plans to employ a 'look-through' analysis. This approach will gather insights into topics like whether an NFT qualifies as an artwork or not. The feedback garnered will subsequently inform the IRS's official guidance on NFT taxation.

  3. Deadline and Potential Impact: The feedback window closes on June 19th. Thus, taxpayers who have already reported their 2022 returns by April 18th will likely remain unaffected by this new guidance. Until the deadline, the IRS will continue treating NFTs as underlying assets for taxation purposes.

  4. Looking Ahead at NFT Taxation: This proposal serves as the IRS's inaugural move in clarifying the tax treatment of NFTs. In an effort to keep up with the digital age, the IRS had earlier proposed a draft law in October that would require tax reporting of NFTs and cryptocurrencies under a separate “Digital Assets” section.

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