In this report, Shakow explains how a decentralized autonomous organization functions and interacts with the U.S. tax system and presents the many tax issues that these structures raise. The possibility of using smart contracts to allow an entity to operate totally autonomously on a blockchain platform seems attractive. However, little thought has been given to how such an entity can comply with the requirements of a tax system. The DAO, the first major attempt to create such an organization, failed because of a programming error. If successful examples proliferate in the future, tax authorities will face significant problems in getting these organizations and their owners to comply with the tax laws.
Shakow, David J., "The Tao of The DAO: Taxing an Entity That Lives on a Blockchain" (2018). Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law. 2009.
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