The very strong growth of interest on the part of collectors in owning artworks existing only in digital format, represented by Non-Fungible-Token (or NFT) and distributed through the blockchain (Ethereum in particular), leads to a reflection on the correct fiscal classification of the phenomenon, both for direct and indirect taxes, distinguishing on the basis of the different nature of the subjects involved.

1)    The crypto-artist resident in Italy who creates works of digital art and resells them online, through a marketplace or similar platform, on a regular basis, generates self-employment income pursuant to art. 53 c. 1 of the Tuir.

2)    Instead, if this activity was carried out occasionally, the income produced by it would qualify as other income pursuant to art. 67, c. 1, lett. l) of the Tuir.

3)    With regard to collectors who do not carry out business activities (such as occasional speculators), any capital gains would be classified as different income, pursuant to art. 67, c. 1, lett. i) of the Tuir.

4)    Finally, the "private collector" would not be subject to any taxation.

On the other hand, with reference to the possible "resale right" as remuneration accrued on the resale price of the works themselves subsequent to the first transfer by the author thanks to specific smart contracts, they would fall under income similar to self-employment, the pursuant to art. 5, c. 2, lett. b) of the Tuir.

VAT side, the sales of digital works of art will be taxable pursuant to art. 2, c. 1 of the Presidential Decree 633/1972 where the crypto-artist qualifies as a taxable person, pursuant to the following art. 5 (usual and professional exercise, although not exclusive, of the artistic activity). In this case, if the sale is completed in Italy, it will be subject to the reduced rate of 10%.

Our staff is available for any clarification.

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