There are two tax considerations to be had when purchasing NFTs:
Buying an NFT using Crypto
When The IRS states that “if you exchange virtual currency held as a capital asset for other property, including for goods or for another virtual currency, you will recognize a capital gain or loss.”
For example - if you purchased a unit of ether for $100 in 2018, it would now be worth around $1,700. If you used that ether unit to buy a $1,700 NFT, you would have to pay tax on the gain of $1,600 as part of the NFT purchase. You would owe the IRS — assuming a top capital gains rate of 20% — a tax of $320. You’re not spending currency, you’re spending an appreciated asset.
Selling an NFT for profit.
Profits earned from the sale of NFTs, the same as crypto, are taxed like stocks (short and long term capital gains). Whenever you sell an NFT, you incur a capital gain or loss. For example, if you bought an NFT for $10,000 of ETH (this is your cost-basis) and then sold it for $15,000 of ETH, you would incur a taxable capital gain of $5,000.