Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

The National Bank of PokerStarzistan?

IRS says report your online bankroll as a foreign money account

by , Feb 24, 2009 | 8:33 am

With banking matters all over the place these days, the IRS reportedly investigating Russ Hamilton, and Barney Frank putting together a bill that would simply strike down the UIGEA as if it never happened, I gotta think, well … I really don’t know what to think. Though it seems major shifts are happening, global-economic finance is admittedly a little beyond my ken. But I’m trying to figure it out, and so far I’ve concluded that banks are clearly important, and anyone who handles the transfer of billions of imaginary dollars has major issues to attend to.

Brilliant, I know.

And actually, not even billions … just $10,000 or more. Apparently a new IRS rule has gone into effect that requires online poker players to treat their online accounts — PokerStars, Full Tilt, et al. — as offshore foreign bank accounts.

Yeow, that’s different. Sources who were winning players online tell me nothing more than a WG-2 was necessary before. Again, I’m not really sure what that means (or what enforcement mechanisms are in place) but do I know this change theoretically affects lots and lots of people and probably at least a few billion dollars. If I’m reading this tax expert right, basically, if all your money in all your accounts added up to $10,000 or more at any point in 2008, you have to file a special form (TD F 90-22.1, which goes to the Dept. of the Treasury, not the IRS) for these accounts, and the fine for not doing so is either $100,000 or half your bankroll, whichever is greater.

That sounds pretty tough. But maybe this is just what comes with the territory as G-men set up a framework for how these online piggy banks, er, poker sites have to work in the future? No word yet on whether or not you’ll ever be able to pay your taxes in PokerStars W$/T$ or Lindens.


D’Amato on the Poker Front Lines

by , Feb 3, 2009 | 7:50 am

As Dan mentioned during his Poker Beat podcast debut last week, former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato is on the case of the UIGEA in Washington, D.C. He published a piece in Roll Call, the magazine of Capitol Hill, in which he points to online poker – and the billions of dollars in revenue potential – as a potential source of revenue for the economically-challenged U.S. government. It’s worth reprinting here, not because of the message that went out to the politically-minded last week, but because it shows that the Poker Players Alliance is working behind the scenes in D.C. It might be worth it to be patient with the PPA during this time of relative silence, as they may just have a few aces up their sleeves.

Here is the article in full:

The New Deal: Regulate and Tax iPoker
By Alfonse D’Amato
Special to Roll Call
January 27, 2009, 4:21 p.m.

As the Obama administration and the new Congress evaluate their policy priorities, they cannot ignore the significant challenge to fund these programs given our nation’s financial situation. Our new leaders have been dealt a struggling economy, and even President Barack Obama can agree that tax increases to pay for his agenda won’t reveal the winning hand, politically or practically. A possible solution, however, is not out of reach. Our new president needs only to look at his favored form of skillful avocation: poker.

Yes, I said poker. While business leaders and politicians debate how much, or how little, we should regulate the business community, the online poker industry and the millions of Americans who play on the Internet have been crying out for regulation and taxation. The absence of government regulation, and in fact the quixotic efforts to ban Internet poker, has left U.S. consumers vulnerable and left billions in potential tax revenue on the virtual poker table.

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November Niner Scoping out Tejas?

by , Nov 19, 2008 | 1:38 pm

Speaking of Austin … though I’ve still got nothing on any room violence down there, super-secret powerful inside sources do tell me that 2008 WSOP 4th place finisher Ylon Schwartz is in A-town right now … visiting a friend and supposedly shopping for a condo. I gotta think the quiet Brooklyner would fit right in the Austin scene. Income taxes in Texas (none) are much better, too. Perhaps Schwartz hasn’t cashed in his winnings yet?


California Poker Players Conference – Day 1

by , Oct 20, 2007 | 9:48 pm

Mike CaroOver 100 people signed up for the first annual CPPC, and for its inaugural installment, the hosts seemed pleased. Not only were the attendees excited to be there, but they seemed inspired by the speakers – taking notes, asking questions, talking strategy and game tips during breaks. Some of the speakers set up exhibits to sell their books, distribute info about poker lessons and organizations like the PPA, and computers were even provided for the ability to e-mail members of Congress in the ongoing fight for poker rights.

Some key ideas from the day’s speakers:

• “If your only goal is to win pots, you can play and bet every hand, win some of them, and become the world champion of winning pots. But if your object is to make the right decisions, you can be a champion poker player.” – Mike Caro
• George Epstein gives speeches and poker lessons to seniors to sharpen their minds, leading to better overall health and quality of life.
• Lou Krieger gave top-notch poker tips. There’s a reason he has authored 11 poker books.
• Stan Sludikoff, long-time publisher of Poker Player Newspaper, has been speaking to Lyle Berman about a poker television channel. Plans are still being formulated but he insists that it will happen.
• Marsha Waggoner gave the best quote from Vince Lombardi: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”
• Russell Fox is an expert on taxes as they relate to poker players – amateurs and professionals. He knows his laws and seems to be the tax pro to the poker biz.
• John PappasJohn Pappas is extremely dedicated to the PPA. As Executive Director for only a few months, he has recruited numerous members of Congress to sponsor pro-poker legislation. And he bought me lunch.

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Re: IRS Backing Down on Poker Taxes?

by , Oct 16, 2007 | 1:29 am

The rumors had merit … there will be no automatic 25 percent withholding on all poker tournament wins over $5,000. The headlines give a little indication on where different operations stand on tournament winners and their ethical obligations to pay the federal government its juice:

CardPlayer: “Tax Law Stopped”
PokerListings: “Tax Code Clarified”
4Flush: “Still Being Worked on”
PokerNews: “Tax Proposal Nixed”
I. Nelson Rose: “IRS Has Changed the Law”