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Old 09-05-2007, 04:05 PM
jeff329 jeff329 is offline
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Default Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

I was under the impression that legal precedent (as well as some old threads here) has shown that NO PERSON is REQUIRED to file as a professional even if the IRS asks them to in order to receive more money for the self-employment tax. Hasn't precedent only stated that a person must prove he/she is a PRO if the IRS questions it, but never the other way around? If someone wants to file as a hobby, the IRS has to just accept it, they can't force someone to call themselves a pro? In the cases where they have tried, those that fight it have be successful, no? Has anyone been forced to call themselves a pro who has done everything they could to fight it?
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2007, 04:52 PM
oldbookguy oldbookguy is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

Though I am not a taxman, I have done many returns.

Yes, the IRS can dictate how taxes are filed.

It really hinges on how a 'hobby'is ran.

Is it ran as a hobby or is it ran in a business manner designed to make money is the 'test'.

Read the brief explanation at IRS.gov

IRS Hobby or Business

obg
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:02 PM
Merkle Merkle is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

I prepared 4 sample tax returns using certain assumptions. One return with no poker income, poker income netted (which we are not supposed to do, poker income reported properly as a hobby and poker income reported as a pro.

http://www.softwarecitytn.com/files/...Poker%20In.pdf

The link above worked for me. If others have trouble let me know. If the explanation is not clear or if you have questions please ask.

PS
Please note that in the examples used about 60% of your poker income goes to taxes if filing properly as a hobbyiest
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:09 PM
jeff329 jeff329 is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

The link is appreciated but it doesn't really answer the question. Precedent has only shown that the IRS has demanded proof of a player calling themselves a professional so that they can deduct expenses etc...but have they ever forced someone who argued it wasn't their profession to file as a professional? I have never heard of a case where someone was forced into it, faught it, and lost..
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:11 PM
oldbookguy oldbookguy is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax


I do not know. You can, however, read the general IRS guidelines as linked above.

I would guess that yes, at some point, the IRS has made a hobbyist file as a business, akin to a pro.

obg
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:29 PM
Merkle Merkle is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

True, my link above is not directed at answering the exact question of this thread. It was something I prepared several weeks ago to demonstrate how unfairly poker income is treated for tax purposes and the ramifications of said treatment.

This just happened to be the forum it seemed best suited for based on other comments here.

BTW the Self Employemnt Tax that was due from filing as a pro is illustrated in the pro example.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2007, 07:10 PM
Zele Zele is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

Most of the people who have posted about a SE letter on this forum have reportedly fought it successfully. At least one has paid without fighting, and the most recent poster looks like he's losing but might keep fighting.

As for what the IRS can or can't do: no one knows for sure because AFAIK there are no real precedents - people have either paid up or the IRS has dropped it; no one has gone to court.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:47 PM
Merkle Merkle is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

I want to thank broiler for catching an error on the return that was itemized. Somehow the program picked up standard deductions instead of the itemized deductions. I have corrected that and re-linked the document. The damage is not much worse for itemizing than for filig as a pro now. But neither is as good (or in my opinion as accurate) as netting.

Broiler also asked about state returns. I am in TN and we do not have a state income tax therefore I did not address that or take it into account.

If anybody else catches errors please let me know. I do apologize for letting that one slip in.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2007, 12:31 AM
grapabo grapabo is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

I seem to remember a post in this forum several months back, where he was a college student, reported a chunk of gambling winnings as "other income", i.e., not as self-employment income, and subsequently received a notice from the IRS proposing to change that to self-employment income and requesting that they pay the SE tax on this amount.

The disproportionate amount of gambling winnings to total income probably triggered the IRS letter, and I assume that an explanation that this income was earned while he was a student was sufficient to convince them that he was not a pro. But the point is, this would be a situation where the IRS may be looking for non-pros to explain their gambling winnings.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2007, 12:30 PM
ilikeaces86_ ilikeaces86_ is offline
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Default Re: Poker, the IRS, Law, and Self Emp Tax

I am a full time student and the last 2 years I have filed my poker income as other income since my profession is being a student. I haven't had any trouble with the IRS over it.
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