Even in virtual reality, you can’t hide from taxes

(ORDO NEWS) — Second Life, a long-lived metaverse that still attracts close to a million monthly active users, has announced that for the first time since its launch in 2003, it will begin charging US users local sales tax on many in-game purchases.

Second Life developer Linden Labs cited a 2018 South Dakota Supreme Court decision in Wayfair Inc. The decision established that states and local governments could levy a sales tax even on items sold by online businesses that do not have a physical presence in the state.

Following this decision, Linden Labs stated that “*did everything possible to shield users from these taxes for as long as possible, but we are no longer able to withhold them.”

Therefore, starting March 31, Second Life users will be billed for local taxes on recurring bills such as subscriptions and land fees.

Linden Labs will continue to bear all taxes charged on one-time purchases such as name changes and purchases of the in-game currency L$. But those costs will be passed on to users “ at some point in the future ,” writes Linden Labs.

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