Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

Manan Sethi Manan Sethi    30 June 2022
Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike other forms of cryptocurrency, they cannot be traded or exchanged in equivalency. Due to their unique nature, they differ from fungible forms of cryptocurrency which being identical to each other can serve as a medium for commercial transactions.

NFTs evolved from the ERC-721 standard. Developed by some of the same people responsible for the ERC-20 smart contract, ERC-721 defines the minimum interface—ownership details, security, and metadata—required for the exchange and distribution of gaming tokens. The ERC-1155 standard takes the concept further by reducing the transaction and storage costs required for NFTs and batching multiple types of non-fungible tokens into a single contract.

USAGE

NFTs have multiple potentialuse cases. For example, it is an ideal way to digitally represent physical assets such as real estate and works of art. Because NFTs are blockchain-based, you can also remove intermediaries, connect artists to your audience, and even use them for identity management. NFTs can eliminate intermediaries, simplify transactions and create new markets.

Like physical money, cryptocurrencies are substitutable. That is, they can be exchanged or exchanged with each other. For example, Bitcoin is always worth the same as another Bitcoin.This substitutability property makes cryptocurrencies suitable as a secure trading medium in the digital economy.

NFT changes the cryptographic paradigm by making each token unique and irreplaceable, making it impossible to make an irreplaceable token look like another token. These are digital representations of assets that are compared to digital passports because each token contains a unique, non-transferable ID that distinguishes it from other tokens.

HOW TO BUY

Many NFTs can only be purchased on Ether, so owning a portion of that cryptocurrency and storing it in your digital wallet is usually the first step. You can then buy NFTs from online NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Rarible, and SuperRare.

SAFETY

Non-fungible tokens that use blockchain technology such as cryptocurrencies are generally secure. The decentralization of the blockchain makes it difficult (if not impossible) to hack NFTs. The security risk of NFT is that if the platform hosting NFT goes out of service, you may not be able to access non-fungible tokens.

TAXATION ASPECT

INDIA

The income of professional individuals is generally taxed at the prescribed slab rates. However, income from the transfer of NFTs is to be taxed at a flat rate of 30%.

This means that even if, the value of the NFT sold is less than INR 2,50,000, which is the basic exemption limit, an income tax @30% (excluding surcharge and cess) is payable on the transfer of NFTs.

AUSTRALIA

Non-Fungible Tokens are not considered digital currency for GST purposes, so the ordinary GST rules apply. This means that if you are registered for GST and sell an NFT, then:

  • Sales to Australian buyers may attract GST, and
  • Sales to overseas buyers may be GST-free.

Given Non-Fungible Tokens provide their holders with various rights, it’s not possible to cover all the tax implications of transacting with NFTs. For example:

  • Stamp duty and land tax may apply if the NFTs contain rights to real property.
  • The “personal use asset” provisions may apply if the NFTs contain rights to boats
  • The “collectibles” provisions may apply if the NFTs have rights to jewellery, artwork, or antiques.

UNITED KINGDOM

The two principal taxation types to note when considering NFT tax are income tax and capital gains.

When you sell a digital asset such as an NFT for a profit, you’ll need to pay capital gains. Depending on how long you’ve held the NFT, you may benefit from a long-term capital gains tax rate.

Swapping or gifting (excluding spousal relationships) is also a taxable event when it comes to NFTs, being viewed by HMRC as the disposal of an asset.If you’re the artist or originator of the NFT, you may be subject to paying income tax on any sales.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The UAE adopted its first law to regulate cryptocurrencies and digital assets, including NFTs. Under the new law, the country will establish a Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which would regulate these assets.

UAE as of now has no taxation on NFTs.

SAUDI ARABIA

No taxation yet.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Investors and creators don’t owe tax until an NFT sells. In the case of NFT trades, traders will owe taxes if they sell an NFT for a profit. But as long as they hold the NFT and don’t sell, they can sit on their unrealized gains without paying taxes.

If you’re using cryptocurrency such as Ethereum to purchase NFTs, you could be creating a whole separate liability apart from the NFT itself. That’s because any transaction with crypto has the potential to create a tax issue, due to how the IRS has structured the rules about using it.You’ll create a tax liability if you exchange virtual currency for goods such as NFTs or services that are worth more than what your cost basis is in the cryptocurrency.

Some NFTs have embedded “smart contracts” that pay the original creator a royalty every time the NFT is sold. For example, the creator might sell to Person A, who in six months sells the NFT to Person B. Depending on the NFT, the creator may realize a royalty of a few percent on that second-hand sale by Person A, creating a tax liability for the creator.

CANADA

Buying an NFT is not a taxable event. Selling an NFT, however, whether you’ve created the NFT or are selling an item you purchased previously, is a taxable event. In essence, there are two different ways your NFT could be taxed.

BUSINESS INCOME- Creating and selling an NFT is exactly like creating and selling anything else, and therefore qualifies as business income. If an NFT is listed at $50, The Canadian government views that $50 as income and you should pay tax on it as such. So, you’ll owe a certain percentage of the sale price. You can also deduct your cost for creating the asset you’ve sold.Say your cat NFT is doing well and it gets sold several more times. The royalties you receive from the sale are taxed as business income.Income tax in Canada ranges from 15% to upwards of 30% and scales based on income. Provinces (except Quebec) also calculate and charge income tax.

CAPITAL GAINS AND INVESTMENT INCOMES- The other way your NFT can be taxed is as capital gains and investment income. Taxes work a bit differently if you decide to invest in an NFT. If you purchase an NFT and it gains value over a few months, then you sell, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on the increased value.

Disclaimer: Content posted is for informational & knowledge sharing purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice related to tax, finance or accounting. The view/interpretation of the publisher is based on the available Law, guidelines and information. Each reader should take due professional care before you act after reading the contents of that article/post. No warranty whatsoever is made that any of the articles are accurate and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax or accounting advice.

You can access Law including Guidelines, Cabinet & FTA Decisions, Public Clarifications, Forms, Business Bulletins for all taxes (Vat, Excise, Customs, Corporate Tax, Transfer Pricing) for all GCC Countries in the Law Section of GCC FinTax

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