South Korea Begins Taxing Virtual Worlds


The NTS, South Korea’s national tax service, is now charging value-added tax on real-money transactions in virtual worlds.

According to an official from the NTS, the agency will be able to monitor all virtual world transactions through real-money transaction (RMT) mediators, who have agreed to share transaction details with authorities. The policy will effect sellers who make over $6,500 in transactions per year; along with this, sellers who do more than $13,000 in transactions in a given year will require a small business license and will have to pay the taxes themselves.

“This is not about defining RMT legal/illegal,” said Mr. Choi from the NTS. “We don’t see any contradictory facts to Amendment for Game Industry Promoting Law. We are not about to judge if RMT is legal or not.”

Questions remain about the application of the law remain, however, as the Terms of Service agreements for many online games stipulate that in-game items and currency belong to the game’s developers and publishers, not the gamers.

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