Paypal reports to the IRS at payments totaling $20,000 and with 200+ payments received in a year. If you don’t meet both of those criteria then PayPal doesn’t report. Personally I don’t report if PayPal doesn’t report. Every time I have cashed out I have received less than I put in originally. Even though I think technically I should report my cash out value I won’t because it seems weird to me to report it as income when I used my already taxed income to put into magic online and then just lost value before withdrawing.
Leovold brings up several good points. I wouldn't treat it as income unless it actually were income. For example, in my $7,500 above, I probably only invested close to $1,000 beforehand. The rest were prizes or card investments. Secondly, I cashed out with a check from MTGO Traders. Since that could have been reported, it's more important to self-report. Last, I don't tend to agree that "if they can't trace it, I don't have to report it" meets ethical norms. YMMV.
@chronatog MTGO prizes are in digital objects of no value. Only if you "cash out" do you realize reportable income. FWIW, when I sold off $7500 worth of digital cards last year, I reported those on my taxes.
Stocks in ones brokerage account are also digital objects. However, they have value. Many so-called crypto-currency investors learned in a painful way that their tokens also have value.
Since everything on MTGO is valued in tickets and, to my knowledge, one ticket is one dollar as WotC sells tickets at this price, perhaps there is a preponderance of evidence indicating that digital objects on MRGO have value.
Anyway, I'm not arguing about how it should be. I'm trying to understand how it is now or can be in the nearest future. Magic is a hobby and as any hobby it cost money and time, but provides some economic utility. So that's alright to spend money on your hobby directly or indirectly through taxes. It's not right to create any complications with the IRS.
Is there any official explanation from WotC?
@chronatog WotC has clarified over and over again that the ticket has no market value. I'm fairly certain you agree to such when you agree to the end-use license agreement. Just because you have the power to unload such on ebay or paypal doesn't mean you have the right. Of course, just because WotC says something is of no value, doesn't mean the IRS won't determine otherwise, but until the IRS does, WotC has no interest in stating otherwise.
The league is just an awful experience. I had stopped for many weeks and tried again last night and just cannot stand playing there. I'm going to finish this one and I'm done. I just hate it. And the challenge is even worse, I cannot give up an entire Saturday afternoon to sit in front of a computer with no personal interaction.
@oestrus It goes up over time - since it reset at the last downtime, we'll see >100 numbers for a bit, then it will grow as people become stagnant until the league is reset again in June.
The overall time it takes to get an opponent is pretty consistent with what I'm used to.
@hierarchnoble You are indeed correct this gets into personal preference. I work in front of a computer for 10 - 12hrs a day and the last thing I want to do is get back in front of a computer.
I find being around people very necessary part of my enjoyment in playing Magic. I never sold any significant portion of my cards.
Magic has helped me in some of the hardest moments in my life as a very necessary escape. It was also a reason my grades slipped in college and sometimes a distraction at work.
I need to interact with people to feel that this it is worth it for me. I have video games that I can play and I have other hobbies that I can do.
Without the people, then I would just find another hobby that requires interacting with people. I am a runner and that is solo activity, I do not need another solo activity in my life.
That's my perspective on why paper is so important.
For the longest time, I have considered buying into MTGO. Today, this is still something that I am on the fence about. The buy-in cost is irrelevant. My two big inhibitions are time, and potential enjoyment factor. The challenge that I have always had, and continue to have, is overcoming the ever-discussed game client limitations, and losing some of the aspects of the game that appeal the most to me (i.e. the people aspect). Streamers constantly berate MTGO, but, by virtue that they keep playing (and streaming), things are not potentially as bad as they make them out to be.
My question for people is: does the fun outweigh the frustration or vice versa, and why?
@hierarchnoble This was never meant to be the I hate MODO thread. I see value in it, but I wanted honesty about what it is. There are a lot of players out there like me, who have accumulated cards over the years but because of family and work do not have as much time to play.
I thought that playing MODO would provide me with some missing outlet and help give me more insight into playing Magic.
And it has, but I am also trying to honest for people like @rbartlet that playing MODO may give you more access to playing Magic but you lose something too.
I think being honest will help people decide if it is the right place for them to play. I actually played 3 formats when I started out and I had planned on playing Modern.
I invested time and money to figure out how to win, and I was learning the client. But for me, it was just never fun. I have to admit that it was fun when I would just play for practice to try out new decks but the more competitive parts of the MODO just make me mad.
My complaints are not with the client or the clunky play but mostly with the interactions with players or the lack thereof.
The truth is that MODO has made me a better player and it has changed the way I view the game.
@rbartlet If you are practicing for tournaments, or want to jam games at all hours, there is nothing better.
I've also had a lot of fun streaming MTGO. Gives it a real social aspect.
Yes MTGO sucks and it's fun to dunk on it. But there's nothing else really comparable to it.
Also I agree with @Brass-Man that this thread is a bit repetitive...