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Old 06-05-2015, 12:53 AM   #2701
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by PokerBananas View Post
I have a question after browsing through some of the thread. I am Canadian and have been living off poker for 7ish years. In the past 2-3 years I've been pulling in 80K plus per year online to my bank account. Should I be worried about the CRA since I've been declaring myself unemployed and only declaring my interest income?
Go back in this thread to about Sep 2013 and read everything from there to now.
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:41 AM   #2702
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I plan to open a taxable account with BMO investorline to invest my winnings from poker into the market. I've won in the 6 figures and have continued winning similar amounts recently but I'm a fulltime student so I plan to write that I'm a student as my occupation on the sign up sheet and that I have no employers or past employers. This seems okay so far since it seems like a bad idea to write "professional poker player" anywhere but if it isn't, please stop me.

In another section, they also ask for my amount of annual income from all sources, net assets, estimated net worth, source of annual income and the source of my funding for my account. What should I put for this stuff? I was planning to write 0 annual income, a lower estimated net worth than my net worth like maybe 20k or something that I conceivably could've gotten gifted from my parents, other_like money from parents in source of annual income, and gifts for funding my account. But my account will probably be in the high 5 figures/low 6 figures by the end of the year so if anyone's paying attention, that seems like a bad idea for attracting attention and getting audited.
But if I write 0 annual income, a 6 figure net worth, other_none? for annual income, other_gambling? for source of funding for my account, alarm bells might be set off right away? and the person helping my open the account at the bank might ask me more about it

I'd be grateful for any and all advice on what to do.
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Old 06-25-2015, 03:33 PM   #2703
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by thedarkside View Post
I plan to open a taxable account with BMO investorline to invest my winnings from poker into the market. I've won in the 6 figures and have continued winning similar amounts recently but I'm a fulltime student so I plan to write that I'm a student as my occupation on the sign up sheet and that I have no employers or past employers. This seems okay so far since it seems like a bad idea to write "professional poker player" anywhere but if it isn't, please stop me.

In another section, they also ask for my amount of annual income from all sources, net assets, estimated net worth, source of annual income and the source of my funding for my account. What should I put for this stuff? I was planning to write 0 annual income, a lower estimated net worth than my net worth like maybe 20k or something that I conceivably could've gotten gifted from my parents, other_like money from parents in source of annual income, and gifts for funding my account. But my account will probably be in the high 5 figures/low 6 figures by the end of the year so if anyone's paying attention, that seems like a bad idea for attracting attention and getting audited.
But if I write 0 annual income, a 6 figure net worth, other_none? for annual income, other_gambling? for source of funding for my account, alarm bells might be set off right away? and the person helping my open the account at the bank might ask me more about it

I'd be grateful for any and all advice on what to do.
If this isn't the right place for this type of inquiry, a mod can move this.
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:57 PM   #2704
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by thedarkside View Post
If this isn't the right place for this type of inquiry, a mod can move this.
They want the information for your profile so they know what kind of client you are. I would just write in a acceptable amount of yearly income that would cover your net worth. Don't put professional poker player, just write student/poker player and leave it at that. If you ly on parts of the form then you starting to dig a hole for yourself. Then you might have to ly again to coverup the first ly.

Last edited by DavidNB; 06-28-2015 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:31 PM   #2705
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Federal Court Judge (Canada) Rules Texas Hold 'Em Game of Skill

The ruling is in relation to an immigration decision, not income tax.

National Post Article - Judge cites Kenny Rogers’ lyrics in deciding whether Texas hold ’em poker is game of skill or chance

CanLII Decision - Cohen v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 1192
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:39 PM   #2706
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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[21] The standard of review is reasonableness. Thus, it is not for me to assess the evidence directly, but rather to decide whether or not the decision was reasonable. The Minister emphasizes that the only legal opinion as to Israeli law is from Israeli lawyers. However, that opinion is in a legal article and was not geared to Mr. Cohen’s particular situation. More to the point, nowhere does it say that any Israeli court has ever held that Texas Hold’em is a prohibited game. Consequently, there was nothing for the member to compare, and so the decision must be considered unreasonable and be set aside. It is not necessary to refer the matter back to another member as Mr. Cohen has left the country and the alleged purpose of his visit to Canada, i.e. to visit a friend, is long gone. However, his situation was not moot in that he could have been prevented from ever returning here.
And in Canada, no court has ever held that a Texas hold em gambler has taxable winnings.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:26 AM   #2707
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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And in Canada, no court has ever held that a Texas hold em gambler has taxable winnings.
Now I just don't understand that. In Israel, we always assumed even home games are illegal (not that it stopped us).
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:54 AM   #2708
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Now I just don't understand that. In Israel, we always assumed even home games are illegal (not that it stopped us).
What does illegality have to do with it? Canada taxes legal and illegal income, as does every other jurisdiction that I'm familiar with. Not taxing illegal income would mean that you're exempting illegal income from tax, which would be an absurd tax subsidy.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:54 PM   #2709
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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And in Canada, no court has ever held that a Texas hold em gambler has taxable winnings.
That is not true. Just off the top of my head I know that in the reasoning for Epel the judge specifically states that for a poker player, such as the expert witness (John Turmel), poker winnings would be taxable. The judge proceed to explain that Tony Epel was not like John Turmel and so he should not be taxed but in doing so the judge also held that someone like John Turmel should be taxed on their poker winnings.

If the point is that no court has ever found that someone is like Turmel without them basically admitting to it (something he does with pride despite that leading to him paying income tax on his winnings) then that is true -- but then what we are discussing is a pragmatic substantiation issue rather than a legal issue. The law is clear -- if someone is a professional poker player then their winnings are taxable -- it just happens to be that case that CRA has never successfully managed to convince a court that the player before them is a professional without that player actually admitting to it themselves.
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:22 PM   #2710
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by TaxGuru View Post
What does illegality have to do with it? Canada taxes legal and illegal income, as does every other jurisdiction that I'm familiar with. Not taxing illegal income would mean that you're exempting illegal income from tax, which would be an absurd tax subsidy.
I was just musing on the bolded text, outside the tax context.
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:44 PM   #2711
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by Henry17 View Post
That is not true. Just off the top of my head I know that in the reasoning for Epel the judge specifically states that for a poker player, such as the expert witness (John Turmel), poker winnings would be taxable. The judge proceed to explain that Tony Epel was not like John Turmel and so he should not be taxed but in doing so the judge also held that someone like John Turmel should be taxed on their poker winnings.



If the point is that no court has ever found that someone is like Turmel without them basically admitting to it (something he does with pride despite that leading to him paying income tax on his winnings) then that is true -- but then what we are discussing is a pragmatic substantiation issue rather than a legal issue. The law is clear -- if someone is a professional poker player then their winnings are taxable -- it just happens to be that case that CRA has never successfully managed to convince a court that the player before them is a professional without that player actually admitting to it themselves.

You're always claiming to be some sort of legal expert, but you do not know the difference between a holding and dicta. LOL.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:48 AM   #2712
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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You're always claiming to be some sort of legal expert, but you do not know the difference between a holding and dicta. LOL.
Uh judges regularly cite obiter in relevant cases. Dicta are almost always judges just musing on what might happen if the facts were slightly different. Of course, your implication that it is not binding is correct, but it is still persuasive.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:00 PM   #2713
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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You're always claiming to be some sort of legal expert, but you do not know the difference between a holding and dicta. LOL.
The statement that Turmel should be taxed is dicta but the statement that individuals like Turmel are subject to tax is a holding.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:24 PM   #2714
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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it just happens to be that case that CRA has never successfully managed to convince a court that the player before them is a professional without that player actually admitting to it themselves.
Incorrect. In my case the CRA put forth evidence that I called myself a "professional gambler" in my tax returns and also declared the same to my bank. The CRA still was found to have made an unreasonable decision.

Also, in Cohen, the poker player repeatedly declared himself professional and tried to frame his case as his activities were consistent with being a professional, and the CRA argued against it (of course, since he was a losing player).
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:55 AM   #2715
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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... the statement that individuals like Turmel are subject to tax is a holding.
No it is not.

https://info.legalsolutions.thomsonr...1-spring-6.pdf

"There is no universal agreement on the definitions for these terms, but most typically “holding” is defined as that portion of a legal opinion that is 'necessary to the result.'"
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:53 AM   #2716
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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No it is not.

https://info.legalsolutions.thomsonr...1-spring-6.pdf

"There is no universal agreement on the definitions for these terms, but most typically “holding” is defined as that portion of a legal opinion that is 'necessary to the result.'"
Can we at least stop using this horrible terminology, which might be the source of confusion?

Either talk about the ratio decidendi or the obiter dicta. This "holding" nonsense is stupid
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:20 PM   #2717
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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No it is not.

https://info.legalsolutions.thomsonr...1-spring-6.pdf

"There is no universal agreement on the definitions for these terms, but most typically “holding” is defined as that portion of a legal opinion that is 'necessary to the result.'"
It is necessary to the result because the judge uses it as the test for why Tony is not required to pay income tax.

The structure of the decision is very simple.

X must pay tax
Tony is not X
Thus Tony does not have to pay tax
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:09 PM   #2718
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

If one day it became standard for poker players to be taxed and so the CRA came after everyone's unpaid tax from previous years, is there a cap on the interest that can be charged on the tax?
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:01 PM   #2719
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Even if they were somehow willing to try making it taxable, it would not be retroactive. The amount of legwork involved imo would be near impossible. For example, I've made money off poker sites that no longer exist. How could I or the government figure out how much I made there?

But I really don't see Canada ever taxing poker.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:22 PM   #2720
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Even if they were somehow willing to try making it taxable, it would not be retroactive. The amount of legwork involved imo would be near impossible. For example, I've made money off poker sites that no longer exist. How could I or the government figure out how much I made there?

But I really don't see Canada ever taxing poker.
This is incorrect. If they were to go after players the onus is on you to prove how much less you made then they assume you made given there financial estimations. So the sites no longer being around is actually something bad for you if they evaluated you as making a greater figure than you actually did. Drug dealers are taxable, and if they went after them do you think they track down all there customers to find out how much tax is owed. The good thing for drug dealers is they deal in cash so there is a harder time for the cra to determine how much they actually make based off there spending. Most people I know in that line of work deal in 90% cash and have cars etc in others names because they cannot get approved easily for a lease on a 100k car etc.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:27 PM   #2721
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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This is incorrect. If they were to go after players the onus is on you to prove how much less you made then they assume you made given there financial estimations. So the sites no longer being around is actually something bad for you if they evaluated you as making a greater figure than you actually did. Drug dealers are taxable, and if they went after them do you think they track down all there customers to find out how much tax is owed. The good thing for drug dealers is they deal in cash so there is a harder time for the cra to determine how much they actually make based off there spending. Most people I know in that line of work deal in 90% cash and have cars etc in others names because they cannot get approved easily for a lease on a 100k car etc.
Then if there were amounts you can't prove we're from poker, is there a cap on the amount of interest they can charge? Or would it compound indefinitely? Then, it wouldn't be too impossible that the amount you owe would be close to or more than the amount you made
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:06 PM   #2722
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Then if there were amounts you can't prove we're from poker, is there a cap on the amount of interest they can charge? Or would it compound indefinitely? Then, it wouldn't be too impossible that the amount you owe would be close to or more than the amount you made
Correct. But I believe there is so much confusion regarding who should be taxed and who shouldn't. Who thinks he is a winning player and who actually is. Even a lot of 'pros' can have something happen where things reverse and they become gamblers chasing. For the state that would mean they could now write off there loses because they are professionals. It's a tricky area for many reasons.

Long story short, if they came after you for taxes and you could prove it was all from poker than there is a good liklihood you could get off without a back interest penalty and just owe the principal. In more respects the cra just wants to settle especially in a situation so confusing as this.
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:34 AM   #2723
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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This is incorrect. If they were to go after players the onus is on you to prove how much less you made then they assume you made given there financial estimations. So the sites no longer being around is actually something bad for you if they evaluated you as making a greater figure than you actually did. Drug dealers are taxable, and if they went after them do you think they track down all there customers to find out how much tax is owed. The good thing for drug dealers is they deal in cash so there is a harder time for the cra to determine how much they actually make based off there spending. Most people I know in that line of work deal in 90% cash and have cars etc in others names because they cannot get approved easily for a lease on a 100k car etc.
First, what am I incorrect about? How are they going to determine what a person's income from poker was? Not to mention, they'll also have to prove that your sole profession is poker. Second, what source are you getting your information from? Not sure what your tangent about drug dealers has to do with anything.


Side note: it's their* customers, and their* spending.
Second side note: cool brag about your drug dealer friends
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Old 01-06-2016, 01:11 PM   #2724
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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First, what am I incorrect about? How are they going to determine what a person's income from poker was? Not to mention, they'll also have to prove that your sole profession is poker. Second, what source are you getting your information from? Not sure what your tangent about drug dealers has to do with anything.


Side note: it's their* customers, and their* spending.
Second side note: cool brag about your drug dealer friends
It's not a brag or something I look highly on or cool in any contex. I was saying it only to show the difference in a why cra would have a harder time with other types of income sources ie. Dealers then online poker. Saying that because a site no longer exists they cannot get the relevant information to tax you, does not work. And the example I used was a dealer because they deal in a completely unregulated cash only business yet they're still subject to being taxed. But it would be easier for the cra tk determine with most poker players because they transfer money around electronically, have credit cards and deal with expenditures the same as any other person in a legal line of work.

My information is well known and I'm sure the main guys in this thread that really know their stuff can validate it. I am by no means a expert here but I know enough to know the basics, to protect myself. The cra does not determine how much you made based on talking to the sites or even based just on deposits to your account from the sites. It would look at all your spending habbits, credit cards bills etc and determine how much they believe you make to afford this lifestyle. Then the onus is on you to prove the source of the income and if it is a taxable source or not. If you have no records then you are in a far worse position than if you had.

Last edited by YouSureSir; 01-06-2016 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:12 AM   #2725
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

When you say your information is well known, could you elaborate on where you got that knowledge? Is it word of mouth/ posts from here? Or is it from actual legal cases? Just curious, since I'd also like to know more on the subject. Regarding the credit card stuff, even if you can check a persons credit card history etc, that wouldn't be enough burden of proof. All you'd need in court would be a small amount of plausible deniability. And that would include such things as binking a one time large tourney (which I'm nearly certain they couldn't tax) , hitting a parlay on the sports betting offered by many sites, or blackjack/casino wins.

I think based on what you say, the CRA would have a very easy time determining whom to tax, and how much. Perhaps this would be possible. However, there doesn't seem to be any hurry by the CRA to actively try changing this. And I believe there is a tax expert from the U of Toronto who vaguely suggested the recordkeeping would be detrimental to you. I'll try to link the pdf later.
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