Virtual Tax Help?

This is kind of interesting… If you don’t get enough personal finance in the real world, you can now get a reality check while playing in the virtual world known as Second Life. If you’re not familiar with Second Life, you’re not alone — I hadn’t heard of it myself until they did a story on it a few weeks ago on the Today Show. In short:

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 4, 779, 631 people from around the globe.

So what does this all have to do with personal finance? Well, H&R Block has opened up a virtual tax office in Second Life where people can go get real world advice from avatars (inhabitants of Second Life) that are controlled by real-life tax pros. You’ll also be able to buy H&R Block’s new Tango tax product for 100 lindens (the local currency; Tango will go for $70 in real life).

Am I the only one that finds this sort of marketing to be a bit strange? I’m not necessarily questioning its effectiveness. It’s just sort of weird to think about how much has changed in the last few years to get us to this point.

[Source: BusinessWire]

One Response to “Virtual Tax Help?”

  1. Anonymous

    Actually, the IRS was looking into ways to tax the income people made from Second Life. There’s a large market for selling in-game components (swords, gold, etc.) in the real world for real cash.

    All of that cash is taxable as income, so of course the IRS wants to get their hands on it.

    Is this their way of getting into the game? Through H&R Block?

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