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Why the IRS Should Love NFTs

Opensea, NFTs are no longer an obscure segment of the blockchain technology world. Even old guard auction houses such as Sotheby’s are getting in on the action. In early September, the auction house facilitated the sale of a set of “Bored Apes” NFTs that sold for more than $24.4 million.

While the emerging space of NFTs is full of excitement, risk and opportunity, there’s the boring tax side of the equation. Unlike most other forms of assets or income, creating, trading and investing in NFTs can trigger a tax event.  

Creators

NFTs are classified as “self-created intangibles” like other works of art. The IRS allows the artist to deduct the expenses of creating the NFT immediately – even if the artwork is not sold. As a result, the creator typically has zero “basis” in their work. This mean when they do sell their work, they’ll have no deductions, so a $100,000 sale means $100,000 of taxable income.

There is little formal guidance, but general principles indicate that NFTs are their creator’s inventory instead of a capital asset. This means that this income is treated as ordinary income and not capital gains – and it is subject to self-employment taxes as well.

Lastly, with certain NFTs, while the NFT itself is a unique blockchain token, the creator might retain copyright to whatever underlying artwork was used to make the NFT. Here, the creator may sell multiple NFTs based on the same original artwork as limited-edition, signed reprints. When the copyright is retained and copies are sold, the income is considered a royalty.

Traders and Investors

Trading NFTs is not as simple as trading stocks.

NFTs are purchased with cryptocurrency (most commonly Ethereum). Since the IRS treats cryptocurrency as property instead of currency, the purchase itself creates a taxable event. Swapping your Ethereum for an NFT means you’ll have to pay tax on any gain you have in your Ethereum position between its value at acquisition and the moment of using it to acquire the NFT.

Second, taxpayers will trigger a taxable event when they sell the NFT, thereby subject to capital gains taxes on the sale of the NFT at the 28 percent collectibles rate.

Conclusion

NFTs offer fantastic opportunities at tremendous risk. As a result, there will be winners and losers, but one thing is certain: the IRS should love NFTs for the taxes.

Tax Breaks for Helping Relatives

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What is a Net Zero Economy?

Ecosia search engine. 

The initial benchmark is to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2070. However, accomplishing these lofty goals will require a remarkable transformation of the global economy and global farming practices.

A way to measure global warming is through “temperature alignment” – a forward-looking benchmark that compares the level of emissions today against the potential for reducing them by a certain date in the future. The measure can be applied to a specific business, government, or investment portfolio.

For investors, global greening provides an opportunity to invest in companies positioning for a future net zero economy. After all, it’s important to recognize that climate risk represents substantial investment risk. Companies that prepare for the transition to sustainable energy sources will be able to deliver long-term returns, while those that do not could become obsolete.

If Net Zero is your path consider the following steps to align your investment allocation with the goals of a net zero economy. For example:

  • Reduce your exposure to high-carbon emitters and companies not making forward-looking commitments to transform to the net zero economy.
  • Prioritize investment decisions based on companies actively reducing reliance on fossil fuels and meeting science-based targets.
  • Target specific sustainable sectors (e.g., clean energy, green bonds) based on your asset allocation strategy – and diversify investments among those holdings.
  • Monitor ongoing research and available data to measure temperature alignment to ensure your issuers and investments are meeting published transition plans. This benchmark should be reviewed with the same rigor as traditional financial data.

The United States and the entire world have a choice to reduce the global. However, the effort also offers an opportunity to invest in climate innovation. The future will bring the survival of the fittest, is your portfolio ready.

How to Catch Up on Your Retirement

cash value, consult your tax advisor or insurance professional first.

No matter what your situation is, you can save for your future. All you have to do is begin now and take it one day at a time.

Sources

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/08/catch-up.asp

https://www.kiplinger.com/retirement/retirement-planning/602191/401k-contribution-limits-for-2021

https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/401ks/articles/how-to-take-advantage-of-401-k-catch-up-contributions#:~:text=The%20401(k)%20Catch%2DUp%20Contribution%20Limit%20for%202021&text=Once%20you%20turn%2050%2C%20you,temporarily%20shield%20from%20income%20tax

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[h1]  name, with two nuances. First, this contribution is still governed by the earned income limits discussed above. Second, these amounts count toward the $15,000 per year gift tax exclusion ($30,000 if married) so it will eat into that. Lastly, do not forget the deadline to make 2021 Roth IRA contributions of any type is April 18, 2022.

How Much is This Worth?

While $6,000 or so may not seem like a lot, it can make a significant difference over time due to the power of compounding returns from such a young age – coupled with the tax advantages of a Roth IRA.

To illustrate the power of this tax and investment move, let us take a scenario where a high school kid makes the $6,000 per year over three summers from age 16-18 before heading off to college, and the Roth IRA contribution is maxed out.

With contributions at just $18,000 and NEVER putting in another dime again, this will turn into the following amounts under different assumed investment returns by the time they are 66 (40 years of compounding).

  • 6 percent return = $313,000
  • 8 percent return = $783,000
  • 10 percent return = $1.93 million

Now, before you get too excited, you must understand that 40 years from now $300,000 will not be what it used to be if inflation continues at historical rates – but the point remains. This simple move made over just a few years can create significant tax-free wealth.

Side Benefit

Due to the characteristic of a Roth IRA, the other beneficial options relate to withdrawal. First, the contributions can be accessed any time before age 59 ½ without penalties or taxes. Second, even after all the initial contributions are removed, a first-time homebuyer can take up to $10,000 without the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty to help fund the purchase, although they will owe income tax on the withdrawal if it has been less than five years since the initial contribution.

Be VERY careful here though, because any withdrawals will dramatically lower the investment returns noted above.

Conclusion

Funding a Roth IRA for a high school or college child or grandchild can give them a tremendous head start in life. A few years of relatively small contributions early on can create substantial wealth over time due to compounding of returns and the tax advantages of the accounts.