Crypto Community Criticises Apple’s 30% Tax on NFT Purchases

Roughly a month after technology giant Apple hinted at imposing a 30% tax on NFT purchases, the company has updated its App Store guidelines to confirm the changes. The new rules provide a framework for how app-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto purchases will be treated on App Store.

In an update dated October 24, Apple disclosed that it now allows NFT marketplaces like LooksRare, OpenSea, and Magic Eden to list their apps on the App Store but purchases from the apps will attract a 30% tax. To ensure total compliance with the commission, Apple banned apps from providing QR codes or links that can potentially enable users to purchase virtual artworks outside the app. It also limits the features of NFTs purchased outside an iOS or iPadOS-powered app.

The new guidelines now allow users to buy, list, transfer or conduct any other services tied to non-fungible tokens. A closer look at the move indicates that Apple now considers NFTs to be similar to any other in-app purchases thus attracting the standard tax rate on such purchases.

The 30% Tax on NFT Purchase Doesn’t Affect Crypto Trades

Regarding cryptocurrencies, the smartphone heavyweight revealed that it’ll no longer allow app developers to include features that can only be unlocked through crypto payments leaving fiat as the only-supported payment method.

Despite the huge tax on NFT purchases, Apple has exempted in-app crypto trades from the hefty commission. However, crypto exchanges wishing to list their apps on App Store must be licensed in jurisdictions in which they wish to provide their app-based services.

Since the hefty commission charged on NFT purchases is an addition to the tax already charged by NFT marketplaces, the crypto community has come out to criticize the move.

On Twitter, for example, some community members lamented that the move is meant to block the growth of non-fungible tokens by making them “to stay jpegs.” Another Twitter user noted that using NFTs to unlock features inside the app is essential and blocking the capability erects a stumbling block towards the advancement of “Web3 app stores.”

It’s All About Keeping Control

Last month, when Apple’s intention to tax NFT first came out, leading NFT marketplaces like Magic Eden disclosed that they’re going to review their decision to keep its app on the Apple-supported application store. Crypto and NFT enthusiasts on Reddit also indicated their disagreement with Apple’s move to impose a 30% tax on NFT purchases.

According to one Redditor:

“Apple’s sole concern is always about keeping control. Control over the marketplace, control over app content, control over who can access what apps, etc. […] If an NFT unlocks content in your app, there is no way for Apple to be able to review and approve that content.”

Although Apple’s rules are in sharp contrast with Android’s Play Store guidelines it remains to be seen whether it’ll bow to pressure and review its tax on NFT purchases.


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