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Tax Question For Poker Winnings (for United States)


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My friends brought this up today, and I was was wondering how it works exactly.I understand that one has to pay taxes on poker winnings, seeing as it is income.But say for example you got your 1k you put it, and made it to 10k by the end of the year. And withdrew 5k total.Do you pay taxes on the 4k winnings you withdrew, or the 9k winnings total, even though none of it is in your 'hands' yet?

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Has nothing to do with what you withdraw. It being in your account online is the same as it being in your bank.
Are you positive about that?What about the worst case scenario, you pay your taxes for whats in your account, and when you go withdraw, you never receive your money?I'm looking for an answer besides the obvious one: "You're ****ed"
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Are you positive about that?What about the worst case scenario, you pay your taxes for whats in your account, and when you go withdraw, you never receive your money?I'm looking for an answer besides the obvious one: "You're ****ed"
Here is an easy way for everyone to figure out the whole tax issue:The US government doesn't particularly care about you or what you do or anything. They care about you paying them taxes on whatever money you earn.So if you make $100K and withdraw $50K to your bank account and pay your backers $30K and the other $20K is on a poker site and it goes under and you never see the money then:The gov expects you to declare $100K winnings, show that you paid $20K to your backer (so they can make sure the backer is declaring that $20K as income) and thus you will pay taxes on $80K.Now, if I lost $20K to a poker site shutting down and keeping my money, I would just tell the gov that I lost $20K at the bellagio or something. That all being said, if you aren't declaring as a professional gambler there are some weird loopholes where in some cases you have to pay taxes on your total winnings and can't deduct your losses which is a huge bummer. There has been a ton written about this on P5s and 2p2, I would look there for info.Mark
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Here is an easy way for everyone to figure out the whole tax issue:The US government doesn't particularly care about you or what you do or anything. They care about you paying them taxes on whatever money you earn.So if you make $100K and withdraw $50K to your bank account and pay your backers $30K and the other $20K is on a poker site and it goes under and you never see the money then:The gov expects you to declare $100K winnings, show that you paid $20K to your backer (so they can make sure the backer is declaring that $20K as income) and thus you will pay taxes on $80K.Now, if I lost $20K to a poker site shutting down and keeping my money, I would just tell the gov that I lost $20K at the bellagio or something. That all being said, if you aren't declaring as a professional gambler there are some weird loopholes where in some cases you have to pay taxes on your total winnings and can't deduct your losses which is a huge bummer. There has been a ton written about this on P5s and 2p2, I would look there for info.Mark
Brings new meaning to, "but how much did you lose?"
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Like Mark said, you can only deduct your gamboling loses if you file as a professional poker player. That means if you deposited $1,000 ran it up to $10k and then lost $6k, so at the end of the year your account was at $4,000, you would still owe taxes on $9k (your winnings).Edit: To go further with this point, if you were a break even poker player so at the end of your year you had the same amount of money in your account as Jan. 1, you probably owe taxes if you had a single winning day.

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That means if you deposited $1,000 ran it up to $10k and then lost $6k, so at the end of the year your account was at $4,000, you would still owe taxes on $9k (your winnings).
If this is true, then why would I declare anything?So you have to declare winnings but not deduct losses? I don't fucking think so.
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I have a question...Can you file as a Professional Poker Player while having a "real" career ? Say you're a teacher, a bus driver, a construction worker, etc. etc. Just wondering if that's a loophole in itself, so people can deduct their losses. Or does it go by where you make the majority of your money ?Dan

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I have a question...Can you file as a Professional Poker Player while having a "real" career ? Say you're a teacher, a bus driver, a construction worker, etc. etc. Just wondering if that's a loophole in itself, so people can deduct their losses. Or does it go by where you make the majority of your money ?Dan
If so, I'm filing as a professional Skipament player...
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If this is true, then why would I declare anything?So you have to declare winnings but not deduct losses? I don't fucking think so.
I am not telling you what you should do, simply what you are legally responsible for. The IRS estimates trillions in unreported earnings each year. But if you really think about it you are paying for it in the long run anyways anyways. Just higher taxes.
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/sigh. you can deduct losses up to gambling winnings even if you are a non-professional. the difference is in WHERE they are deducted as well as what additionally you could deduct as a professional.as a professional, you would file a self employment schedule C, where wins - losses - expenses = your poker "income" which goes on the "front page" of your tax return. these are a deduction to arrive at AGI (adjusted gross income) - a very key number that drives a bunch of other stuff on your tax return that you want as low as possible. as a non-professional, you put gross gambling winnings on the "front" and may deduct losses on the back as part of your itemized deductions, only to the extent of your losses. you cannot deduct expenses as a non professional. this makes your AGI higher (bad) and you don't get to write off that suite at the bellagio, etc. if you win $10k and lose back $2k and don't have enough itemized deductions as a young person typically won't, you essentially "lose" the value of those losses as you would rather take the standard deduction anyway.also, there are some very restrictive stipulations on filing as a professional gambler, so talk it over with someone before you declare that as your profession.i hope this helps a little. Legal: I AM NOT A TAX PROFESSIONAL, DO NOT TELL THE IRS "NAKED COWBOY SAID SO" IF YOU DO IT WRONG.

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/sigh. you can deduct losses up to gambling winnings even if you are a non-professional. the difference is in WHERE they are deducted as well as what additionally you could deduct as a professional.as a professional, you would file a self employment schedule C, where wins - losses - expenses = your poker "income" which goes on the "front page" of your tax return. these are a deduction to arrive at AGI (adjusted gross income) - a very key number that drives a bunch of other stuff on your tax return that you want as low as possible. as a non-professional, you put gross gambling winnings on the "front" and may deduct losses on the back as part of your itemized deductions, only to the extent of your losses. you cannot deduct expenses as a non professional. this makes your AGI higher (bad) and you don't get to write off that suite at the bellagio, etc. if you win $10k and lose back $2k and don't have enough itemized deductions as a young person typically won't, you essentially "lose" the value of those losses as you would rather take the standard deduction anyway.also, there are some very restrictive stipulations on filing as a professional gambler, so talk it over with someone before you declare that as your profession.i hope this helps a little. Legal: I AM NOT A TAX PROFESSIONAL, DO NOT TELL THE IRS "NAKED COWBOY SAID SO" IF YOU DO IT WRONG.
Actually, it would be hilarious when we see this guy on the news for being audited by the IRS and thrown in jail for tax evasion:Naked_Cowboy_In_Times_Square.JPG
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I just feel the world would be a better place if the government, who glefully accepts 30-50% of your winnings anyways, would put up the full stake up front in spirit of the "backer" system.Heck, the govt. should at *least* give you 100% rakeback.

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I have a question...Can you file as a Professional Poker Player while having a "real" career ? Say you're a teacher, a bus driver, a construction worker, etc. etc. Just wondering if that's a loophole in itself, so people can deduct their losses. Or does it go by where you make the majority of your money ?Dan
IRS will not view you as a professional poker player. I had a CPE course where somene said to the IRS agent "I prepare taxes Jan-April and play poker May-Dec, I can not file as a poker player?" IRS agent said nope.Naked Cowboy, you're pretty good!
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