Gold farmers?


Who are they?
Players who repetitiously slay virtual monsters in online games in order to earn virtual “gold” and “equipment”. Such winnings could be sold for real money offline.

Some of them could do so well at this that they are able to hire “employees” to run errands such as buying lunches/drinks and collecting money from buyers from all over Singapore.

Are the taxman interested in the income?
Definitely yes. Korea National Tax Service taxes these farmers up to 40% on their profits. China authority arrived in Oct 2007. Singapore’s IRAS said such income is definitely taxable.

But I wonder who in Singapore with this vocation has actually declared and paid taxes on their income? If you had, please share with the details.

Why is it taxable?
Under Tax 101, we learned the “badges of trade”. Of the six badges, these two would nail the farmers ie.

  • frequency or number of similar transactions by an individual
  • the essence of a profit seeking motive

Now I got to go check on my children playing on their computer games!!

Source – yesterday’s ST pp 2

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