Taxes and DAOs
DAOs facilitate a wide range of activities that may have tax implications like fundraising and asset management. It's important to hire a good CPA who can understand your DAO's tax situation, which will depend on myriad factors like if the DAO has a legal entity and where it is incorporated. For US-based entities, one common approach is to elect as a C Corp, where the DAO simplifies its members tax burdens by paying taxes on their behalf.
To make tax season easier, there are a host book-keeping tools like Utopia Labs for payroll and Coinbooks for accounting. Operating on a blockchain is great since all transactions are transparent, but it has a downside that by default transactions are unlabelled and anonymous.
According to the IRS, virtual currencies are considered property for tax purposes. This means that the sale or exchange of virtual currency, including within a DAO, is subject to capital gains tax. If a person holds virtual currency as a capital asset, they may be required to report a gain or loss when they dispose of it. The tax treatment of virtual currency transactions can be complex, and it is important for individuals and businesses to seek the advice of a tax professional if they have questions. In addition to capital gains tax, DAOs may also be subject to other types of taxes, depending on the specific nature of their activities. For example, if a DAO generates income from the sale of goods or services, it may be required to pay corporate income tax. If a DAO holds and manages assets on behalf of its members, it may be subject to tax on the investment income it generates. DAOs are emerging organization types and the tax situation is still evolving. Our advice is to hire a tax professional and err on the more conservative side in the face of ambiguity.