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Tax man to open office in... wait for it... Second Life!

My avatar scuds across the perfect sunset-sky triple somersaults through my own private waterfall into the achingly stylish avant-garde villa I built in Second Life. I land perfectly poised and look around the virtual room.

What shall I do now? Maybe fill in that virtual tax form?

According to Reuters, US Congress is taking an interest in virtual worlds such as Second Life and how virtual assets should be taxed:

Right now we're at the preliminary stages of looking at the issue and what kind of public policy questions virtual economies raise -- taxes, barter exchanges, property and wealth," said Dan Miller, senior economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.

"You could argue that to a certain degree the law has fallen (behind) because you can have a virtual asset and virtual capital gains, but there's no mechanism by which you're taxed on this stuff," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

So would that apply just to US citizens? Is Second Life actually part of America? Will the UK Inland Revenue come after you if you live here too? What about death duties if your World Of Warcraft character snuffs it?


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