IRS Ready to Tax Online Poker if Legalized in the USA

Published Monday, April 11, 2011 -

It isn’t legal for poker players in the USA to win and collect funds from online poker sites usually operating out of offshore locations. The Internal Revenue Service is trying it’s best to make sure if a player does win at online poker that they get their piece of the pie. This isn’t really all that unusual considering what everyone knows, the only sure things in life are death and taxes.

The latest round to legalize the skill testing game of poker H.R. 1174, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection & Enforcement Act moves through the House of Representatives and the Senate hasn’t passed yet so players in America should look cautiously at how they play their tax cards. If those poker players have won and collected but not reported their winnings on their tax returns they should give serious thought to reporting the funds now, before the IRS looks at your earnings and finds out you didn’t.  You may have until August 31 to take advantage of the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.
Although the prospect of legal online poker sounds wonderful to the avid card player the passing of the bill could spell trouble for those who played and won and didn’t report the income.

The new law will provide the IRS with a method to seek and obtain the names and account information of  U.S. resident depositors with accounts in foreign branches of banks by bringing John Does Summons proceedings against the U.S. branch. A John Doe Summons is authorized under IRC Section 7609 (f) to obtain records from a third party of an ascertainable group or class of persons when there is reason to believe that the group class of persons may have failed to comply with the internal revenue laws. In plain language should online gambling be legalized in the USA the IRS will be given the authority to seek out all records, all player registration data, including deposits, sources of deposits, wire, checks or other sources total withdrawals, method of withdrawals, and much more. These records could go back as far as six years.


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