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Old 02-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #1026
plowking2010
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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is this how CPP works? I don't think it does, i think you get a portion of it back at retirement, or a pooled average depending on factors? But I'm sure people that contributed less get more than they contributed and people that contributed more get less than they contributed and somewhere in the middle there is a happy median where it works out such a way that they get a return of just what they contributed? I put question marks cause I have no real idea how it works that is just my logic speaking.... I like CPP if they give you back exactly what you contribute + interest accumulated....
CPP is a total scam... just like social security. the government doesn't save any of the money... they just spend it and add it to the unfunded liabilities. it's basically a ponzi scheme, and we're at the base of the pyramid. any money you put into CPP or Social Security right now, you're only going to get a very small fraction of that back. You will probably get the same amount of dollars back, but those dollars are going to be worth much, much less. When you look out 20, 30, 40 years into the future... the currencies (if they still exist) will not have much value at all. So you might get a check from the government every month for $2000.... but that might be what you spend at the grocery store for a weeks worth of food.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:12 PM   #1027
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I've declared tax on my poker earnings as self employment income for the past three years. Now I'm applying for a mortgage and at some point I'm gonna have to explain what my business is about if I want to get the preapproved amount I'm aiming for. My wife hasn't worked in two years coz she's back at school and my employment income isn't sufficient on its own.

Any ideas on what to tell the bank or the mortgage broker about my line of work? Does anyone know how much documentation I'm gonna have to provide? So let's say I make up an occupation, will I eventually be caught in the act coz I don't have the documents they ask for?
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:18 PM   #1028
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

What kind of LTV are you looking for?

I've basically been told that as long as I don't exceed 65% LTV I don't have to provide any documentation of any kind and I do not claim any income (gambling or otherwise).

If you have been paying taxes on your poker income then I don't see how you'd have any problems. You might not get a mortgage from a bank but ING, Home Trust, or Xceed would finance you as self-employed without much documentation.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:20 PM   #1029
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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What kind of LTV are you looking for?

I've basically been told that as long as I don't exceed 65% LTV I don't have to provide any documentation of any kind and I do not claim any income (gambling or otherwise).

If you have been paying taxes on your poker income then I don't see how you'd have any problems. You might not get a mortgage from a bank but ING, Home Trust, or Xceed would finance you as self-employed without much documentation.
I'm not sure yet about the LTV. We bought a lot a 18 months ago coz the location was right and the contractor was desparate to sell it off. Now we're planning to start building. So if the lender values the lot at the price we paid then we get 65% LTV or it could go as high up as 80% if they decide to pick municipality's valuation. All our savings went into buying that lot. So we won't be able to contribute much more into a downpayment.

I'm definitey going to check out ING and other brokers. But I posed the question because I have a friend who works at CIBC telling me how tedious the process has become after the real estate meltdown in the states, and how self-employment is more frawned upon than ever. I'm hoping it's not as bad outside the five big banks.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:25 PM   #1030
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Oh you are building something yourself? That will complicate things.

With ING it is best to go to a broker rather than dealing with them directly. Xceed you can deal with directly.

You can also try True North http://www.truenorthmortgage.ca/ of the people who deal in NIQ mortgages they seem like the most knowledgeable and least sketchy.

When it comes to big five / big six banks you will likely have issues. The only one that might consider it would be National Bank.

As a last resort a broker can always get you a private lender but then your rate is going to be unpleasant.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:13 PM   #1031
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Im thinking of making a car puchase ( used one) , around 40k range. Poker is my sole source of income atm, and I do not file any income. Is it possible that my purchase triggers CRA suspicion ? If possible, how likely is it to trigger ?
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:09 AM   #1032
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

From what I've read, I understand that FINTRAC is activated after cashing out $10,000+, which includes smaller, multiple deposits that add up to $10,000+ in a short period of time. Henry suggested that cashing out $2500-$4000 at a time is ideal if possible.

When does the FINTRAC 'flag' reset? ie. If i cash out 6k now, how long should I wait before cashing out another 6k so as not to activate the flag? This also conflicts with something else that Henry said..'don't make it seem like you're hiding your winnings'. In this sense, wouldn't I be able to cash out 50k at once?

I'm also a full-time student but I've taken this semester off and I'll be returning to school in September. I have a very limited employment record..just a couple part-time jobs I had in high school. I expect to make 100k+ by the time school starts again and I'm worried cashing out large amounts of money will send up red flags since I've never had more than 10k in my account at one time before.

Any advice/clarification would be appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:17 AM   #1033
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I don't remember ever saying you should cash out $2500-4000 at a time. A financial institution is required to report any suspicious activity so a pattern of $2500-4000 cashouts could still be suspicious especially if they are in close proximity to each other.

My advice on not hiding your winnings is with respect to the eventual consequences. Basically I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of online poker players lack the skill set required to successfully avoid detection. I'm actually a big advocate for tax evasion but I simply advise against it because my assessment of online players is that they will not be able to pull it off. Since I expect people to get caught I think it is best to go into dealings with CRA such that it does not look like you knew your winnings were taxable and were trying to hind them. For someone who actually knows what they are doing obviously hiding your winnings is the +EV move.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:54 PM   #1034
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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I actually don't recommend that people stay off the grid. My opinion is that the best course of action is to play dumb. Pretend like you don't know that poker winnings are reportable income and just go about life -- just never leave yourself in a position that should CRA come knocking you don't have the ability to pay -- so basically stay liquid and treat the situation as if you are holding the government's money in trust.

The stuff I do recommend people avoid is consumption on the grid. This really only applies to people who have particularly high burn rates. Given my impression of the modern poker player this isn't really a big demographic. Still for people who spend a lot of money keeping that off the grid would help lower the tax liability. I also recommend avoiding FINTRAC as much as possible or anything else that can be easily avoided without making it look like you are actively trying to avoid anything. Cashing out for $9900 is a lot worse than just taking the FINTRAC hit but if you can cash out $2500-4000 at a time then do it (cashing out $2500*4 times in close proximity is the same as just cashing out $10k). Do not try to launder money -- you'll screw up and it won't end well.
So now you're saying that I should report my winnings to the CRA? This seems to contradict everything you've been saying up until now..'you should only pay taxes if you feel morally obligated to'? What are the possible consequences of taking a FINTRAC hit and how likely are they to occur? My own set of circumstances are listed in my post above..I'm still unsure of what to do.

Edit: I understand moneybookers has a vip program that includes a credit card. Is this a viable option? Are moneybookers transactions reported to the CRA?
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #1035
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

For those of you that are running a corporation. All Computer equipment purchased eligible for 100% deduction this year. Part of the stimulation.

I dont think Henry is telling you which is best just some of his ideas. Keep in mind that with tax crimes you are guilty until proven innocent. So you need to determine risk over reward. I still think the best strategy is to claim a portion of your winnings only. Utilize check cashing services and pay cash as much as possible. If your making $100,000 playing poker Claim $55,000.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:07 PM   #1036
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by Flyp03 View Post

When does the FINTRAC 'flag' reset? ie. If i cash out 6k now, how long should I wait before cashing out another 6k so as not to activate the flag? This also conflicts with something else that Henry said..'don't make it seem like you're hiding your winnings'. In this sense, wouldn't I be able to cash out 50k at once?

I'm also a full-time student but I've taken this semester off and I'll be returning to school in September. I have a very limited employment record..just a couple part-time jobs I had in high school. I expect to make 100k+ by the time school starts again and I'm worried cashing out large amounts of money will send up red flags since I've never had more than 10k in my account at one time before.

Any advice/clarification would be appreciated.
No one knows exactly the formula for FINTRAC to take an interest in you.

There is nothing wrong with one or 2 large withdrawals. Just don't make a habit of doing it regularly.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #1037
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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My advice on not hiding your winnings is with respect to the eventual consequences. Basically I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of online poker players lack the skill set required to successfully avoid detection. I'm actually a big advocate for tax evasion but I simply advise against it because my assessment of online players is that they will not be able to pull it off. Since I expect people to get caught I think it is best to go into dealings with CRA such that it does not look like you knew your winnings were taxable and were trying to hind them. For someone who actually knows what they are doing obviously hiding your winnings is the +EV move.
Not many people could get away with tax evasion / hiding income/ hiding assets.
I'm trained in the area as my specialty and there are fewer and fewer tactics that would work every year. Much like poker, the other side is always getting better.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:19 PM   #1038
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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So now you're saying that I should report my winnings to the CRA?
Where did I say that? Not actively hiding your winning is not the same thing as reporting them as income.

My position has always been that winnings are taxable income for professional players but that if you don't report it at least for the time being the odds of CRA bothering you are pretty low. When you combine that with the consequences being fairly minor it makes it +EV to not pay income tax.

Actively trying to hide winnings though is a completely different topic. Most people either don't have the skills or don't make enough from poker to make actively hiding +EV. They will **** it up and that will make things worse than just doing nothing and hoping you never get that letter from CRA.

Quote:
Edit: I understand moneybookers has a vip program that includes a credit card. Is this a viable option?
No. The Moneybookers card is only available to European players. You can't get one as a Canadian. Further, as has been explained a few dozen times CRA does not have to establish that the funds came from poker only that you have money and stuff. The onus is then on you to explain where the funds came from and failing that CRA will just assign an income to you and it will almost always be higher than your actual income.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #1039
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Thanks for everyone's help so far. TCFE said there's nothing wrong with making 1-2 large withdrawals. Does this mean I can cash out amounts of 20-50k once or twice a year? What amount should I limit these cash outs to?

I'm not interested in hiding my winnings; I was just hoping I could cash out whenever I wanted and just play dumb if/when the CRA starts asking questions. At first I was convinced that this was a viable option, but now I'm not so sure. I like to be thorough with information before I make any decisions.

I guess my biggest question is: Are my lack-luster employment history and low average bank account balance going to make me more of a candidate for CRA investigation? And if so, do these risks make it -EV for someone like myself to not pay income tax?

Last edited by Flyp03; 02-06-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:04 PM   #1040
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

If you are making 1-2 withdrawals a year then it is ok to take out
whatever you need to.

1 or 2 does not make a pattern so you are likely ok.

The risk of questions come when you are making bank deposits like clockwork of signigicant money without any identifiable source.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:12 PM   #1041
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I think it should be made clear that FINTRAC and CRA are not the same thing. Even if your behavior doesn't cause issues with FINTRAC that doesn't mean you won't come to CRA's attention.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:15 PM   #1042
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyp03 View Post
Thanks for everyone's help so far. TCFE said there's nothing wrong with making 1-2 large withdrawals. Does this mean I can cash out amounts of 20-50k once or twice a year? What amount should I limit these cash outs to?

I'm not interested in hiding my winnings; I was just hoping I could cash out whenever I wanted and just play dumb if/when the CRA starts asking questions. At first I was convinced that this was a viable option, but now I'm not so sure. I like to be thorough with information before I make any decisions.

I guess my biggest question is: Are my lack-luster employment history and low average bank account balance going to make me more of a candidate for CRA investigation? And if so, do these risks make it -EV for someone like myself to not pay income tax?
I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but FINTRAC and the CRA do not operate from the same building and there's not much evidence to demonstrate that they cooperate together or share any info. So even if your withdrawal habits raise red flags for FINTRAC that doesn't necessarily mean the CRA will come knocking.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:25 PM   #1043
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Thanks to everyone who has helped. I did not know that FINTRAC and the CRA were not related, thanks for that. I have decided to not claim any taxes on my winnings and make a couple large withdrawals to my bank account each year for the time being. If anyone sees any potential problems with this plan feel free to illustrate them.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:26 PM   #1044
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by blindsRobber View Post
I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but FINTRAC and the CRA do not operate from the same building and there's not much evidence to demonstrate that they cooperate together or share any info. So even if your withdrawal habits raise red flags for FINTRAC that doesn't necessarily mean the CRA will come knocking.
That is not accurate. Information passes back and forth between CRA, FINTAC, CSIS, Border Services, and police on a regular basis. The data sharing program is called NICML and it isn't really designed with the intent of catching people avoiding income tax but rather money laundering, organized crime, and terrorist funding but I think it would be naive to think they wouldn't use the data sharing for secondary purposes.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:50 PM   #1045
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I'm a little surprised at the last dozen or so posts.
Public forums are not the place to advise, admit to or discuss elements of tax avoidance, reporting or evading.

It's against forum rules as well.
nit me
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:57 PM   #1046
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I don't believe anyone has really admitted to anything. Certainly there has been no advice on how to do anything. If anything I'd say that the claim that you will get caught is actually discouragement.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:24 PM   #1047
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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I'm a little surprised at the last dozen or so posts.
Public forums are not the place to advise, admit to or discuss elements of tax avoidance, reporting or evading.

It's against forum rules as well.
nit me
He has not done that at all. He has advised people on what they can expect if they push the rules or limits. The same thing a knowledgable tax accountant would.

Teling him he is breaking forum rules is like calling Phil a cheat. Maybe you be best lecturing the Americans on voting for a war criminal when Bush ran

Also telling the voters that you will not change the rules or laws on Income Trusts gives him and all of us the right to screw the conservative government
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:28 AM   #1048
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I've read the thread, but it's been over a spaced out period of time so I might have forgotten if some of these questions have been answered.


1. FINTRAC Red Flags - This is just for withdrawing the money, not transferring it from your poker account to bank, right?


2. Withdrawal Method - What is the best withdrawal method for full tilt poker? Bankwire, Moneybookers, Click2pay, Instadebit, etc.


3. Bank Account - I don't yet have a bank account. Is there any preferable bank? I live in Saskatchewan fwiw, although it would be nice if it is a bank that I can access overseas(is this possible?).


4. Withdrawing cash - Am I going to be asked questions if I withdraw large(5k, 10k, 15k) sums of money?



Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:48 AM   #1049
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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1. FINTRAC Red Flags - This is just for withdrawing the money, not transferring it from your poker account to bank, right?
Wrong. It is for any transaction.

Quote:
2. Withdrawal Method - What is the best withdrawal method for full tilt poker? Bankwire, Moneybookers, Click2pay, Instadebit, etc.
Depending on your objectives one might offer a little benefit over another but for the vast majority they are pretty much equivalent.

Quote:
3. Bank Account - I don't yet have a bank account. Is there any preferable bank? I live in Saskatchewan fwiw, although it would be nice if it is a bank that I can access overseas(is this possible?).
Are you new to Canada? Most people get bank accounts when they are tweens. No real difference between banks. Different people have different experiences with various banks. The branch manager is likely a more relevant factor than the bank.

All banks offer ATM cards that can be used form almost anywhere in the world. If you mean actually going into a branch that seems unlikely. While Canadian banks do own foreign banks and even have banks under their own banner in other countries you generally can't access your Canadian accounts though those branches. If any bank offers such a service though it will be HSBC.

Quote:
4. Withdrawing cash - Am I going to be asked questions if I withdraw large(5k, 10k, 15k) sums of money?
Yes. Sadly most branches don't even keep that kind of money on hand unless it is a big branch or it is a high traffic day like when social assistance gets deposited. You generally have to call ahead and give them a day or two notice. For $5k they may not ask too many questions but they might. For $10k they will. Trying to get around this by going to multiple branches does not work. Banks also have no sense of humor so cocky and funny does not play well. If you need the money for playing live the best thing is just to keep your bankroll in cash at home.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:14 AM   #1050
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Anyone surprised by this?

I paid my taxes for 2008. The government contacted me asking me where the money came from. I told them I won it playing card games at casinos. I also specifically told them that the reason I paid it was because I had no job and relied on cards for an income. They told me I don't need to pay that and said a refund is on it's way.

I fist-pumped.
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