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Old 02-26-2012, 12:45 AM   #2051
Snowman808
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by harangutang View Post
Hard to see how that decision has much bearing on pro poker players. The man appeared to be a problem gambler who played -EV games all the time out of the thrill of it.

For those new to the thread, I'd read taxguru's posts very carefully. He is one of the leading gambling law profs in Canada and has been cited in a number of globe and mail articles on the taxation of internet poker winnings.
any links to taxgurus post ?
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:16 AM   #2052
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

First off, since i play poker, i never really buyed anything big money wise.

If i made 400k from poker as a pro in the past 4 and half years and didnt even made a report since 2007... am i in a deep mess? It is an option to declare the strict minimum for 2007-2008-2009 then report like 40 000$ each year for 2010-2011 ? note that the money i plan to declare wont cover all my winnings..

I would like to buy a condo and also have a clean history as a tax payer with the government.

Last edited by Snowman808; 02-26-2012 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:19 AM   #2053
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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If I decided to file taxes for the 2 years I have been playing poker 2010 and 2011 would I have to pay interest and penalties for 2010? I am still not sure if it is my best option to file taxes or to just claim that I have had no income for the last 2 years. I assume that just not sending in a 2010 return and just sending in one for 2011 can't be a very good idea.
I think everybody would agree that you should either claim all or nothing, the reasons why should be obvious.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:51 PM   #2054
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

If I wrote a personal cheque to a car dealership for say, 50k, would the dealership, or my bank upon withdrawl, have any obligation to report this to CRA? I'm just curious how these things work and am considering a new car.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #2055
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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If I wrote a personal cheque to a car dealership for say, 50k, would the dealership, or my bank upon withdrawl, have any obligation to report this to CRA? I'm just curious how these things work and am considering a new car.
No, you're fine. If you write a cheque (or more likely, a bank draft) you're ok. Lots of rich people cut a cheque for a car in full.

Now, if you walk in with a suitcase of money - then yes, legally they are obligated to report any "suspicious activity" to FINTRAC. I'm not sure if FINTRAC and CRA have a communication route, somebody else can answer that.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:33 PM   #2056
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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any links to taxgurus post ?
He has posted a lot in this thread. I'd read through as much of the thread as you can, since there is a lot of info here. You can go through his posts specifically from his 2+2 profile. I'd check out an ebook he posted a while back.

Based on your other post I would recommend talking to a tax law expert who can appropriately advise you. I was advised by taxguru and would recommend him.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:26 PM   #2057
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Can...162/story.html

Found the article to be kind of interesting. Made me question why I'm paying tax on my poker winnings when the legality of online poker is still questioned in this country. Obviously the government won't take a stand either way because of suckers like me who want to report income so they can start a family and have some income to their name in the near future.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:55 PM   #2058
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Can...162/story.html

Found the article to be kind of interesting. Made me question why I'm paying tax on my poker winnings when the legality of online poker is still questioned in this country. Obviously the government won't take a stand either way because of suckers like me who want to report income so they can start a family and have some income to their name in the near future.
If poker was illegal then that wouldn't change whether or not you have to pay taxes on it.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #2059
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

harangutang is correct -- something does not have to be legal to be subject to income tax. I don't know how often CRA goes after people involved in illegal enterprises but technically drug dealers and pimps owe income tax.

The article goes to where most people go and that is that as provincial lottery corps get into online gambling they might want to snuff out the competition. Criminal matters are federal so I don't see it happening. It was a couple of years back but I discussed this with someone in the PMO and the government has absolutely zero interest in dealing with this. Things change though and especially with Ontario being screwed and needing the money they might put pressure on the federal government to act.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:33 PM   #2060
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

I'm looking for professional advice on dealing with online poker related income. I claimed a couple of years worth of poker income and I'm trying to find out if I have a case for going back and saying it shouldn't have been claimed. It may be a long shot, but it seems worth looking into. At the very least I think I should be able to get the amount adjusted because I didn't claim any expenses or loses.

I'm not sure if I should be looking for a lawyer, accountant, or both.

Can anyone recommended someone who would be able to provide this type of advice?
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:55 PM   #2061
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by hdskate View Post
I'm looking for professional advice on dealing with online poker related income. I claimed a couple of years worth of poker income and I'm trying to find out if I have a case for going back and saying it shouldn't have been claimed. It may be a long shot, but it seems worth looking into. At the very least I think I should be able to get the amount adjusted because I didn't claim any expenses or loses.

I'm not sure if I should be looking for a lawyer, accountant, or both.

Can anyone recommended someone who would be able to provide this type of advice?
I don't think you have a hope in hell. I've been paying income taxes on online poker since 2005. I searched high and low for an accountant, tax attorney or lawyer that could provide me in writing a letter stating that it was their professional opinion that income taxes were not owed from my poker career, I couldn't find one. I spent countless hours on the phone, or in meetings to no avail. I even went out of province and in the end probably contacted about 100+ different people.

I wanted the letter so if CRA ever came after me for taxes owed, I could pull it out and have the penalties/interest waived which would be as much as the taxes owed. Nothing would suck more than having to pay back taxes for 7+years except having to pay the taxes plus the penalties/interest.

Nothing irks me more at tax time and having to pay CPP twice, since I am considered to be running a business, I have to pay my portion and the employers portion
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:27 PM   #2062
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Originally Posted by NL__Fool View Post
Nothing irks me more at tax time and having to pay CPP twice, since I am considered to be running a business, I have to pay my portion and the employers portion
+1 Although I know about CPP and paying double for self employed individuals, it never crossed my mind that it would effect me. It was a nice little surprise
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:37 AM   #2063
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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I don't think you have a hope in hell. I've been paying income taxes on online poker since 2005. I searched high and low for an accountant, tax attorney or lawyer that could provide me in writing a letter stating that it was their professional opinion that income taxes were not owed from my poker career, I couldn't find one. I spent countless hours on the phone, or in meetings to no avail. I even went out of province and in the end probably contacted about 100+ different people.
You will not find one. If you play seriously then it is taxable income. It would be an interesting case for hdskate to go back and claim that he actually was not a professional after claiming that he was. I think he has little chance. On the other hand he has a very good chance of going back and restating his income since he did not include expenses. I'm not sure of the details but a few years back I went back and restated someone's income taxes because they forgot to include deductions and credits they were entitled to. He should be able to do the same if he has documentation for his expenses that he did not include. If he needs professional help to do this the cost of the professional help will likely exceed the gain. I would need to know more but expenses for poker are quite low unless you play live and travel a lot.

[quote]
Nothing irks me more at tax time and having to pay
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:07 PM   #2064
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Here's an overview of my situation.

In 2008 I played microstakes for about 8 months and made a few thousand dollars. Borrowed I think $3k from my parents to move out and play. Tanked that roll in a matter of a month and moved back home.

In 2009 I played microstakes again for 6-8 months and made my way up to nl200. Moved out in 2010. While living on my own I gradually lost interest in poker. I lasted about 8 months on my own before I'd mismanaged my finances enough that I decided to move back home. It actually took me less than 8 months to screw it up. I borrowed another $4k from my parents at one point so I could cover living expenses.

Over this whole period I cashed out about $50k. My total deposits were around $7k.

My taxes owing were about $9.4k. I've paid around $1k so far.

In the later part of 2010 and at a few points throughout 2011 I played microstakes again and wasn't able to build up a roll. In total I think I've lost a couple hundred dollars since September 2010.

Last month I cashed out my final $125.

Up until recently I assumed that because I'd read some books and watched training videos, used holdem manager, etc, I was definitely considered to be in the business of poker. After reading about that lawyer who couldn't get his poker playing to be considered a business even though he'd spent money on coaching, etc., it didn't seem so clear cut. Unlike him, I don't have a bunch of losing months behind me though.

Poker business operator who was a degen and still has to pay taxes?

Naive kid who couldn't reasonably expect to profit/cover living expenses in the long term and shouldn't have to pay taxes?

Last edited by hdskate; 03-11-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #2065
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Here's an overview of my situation.

In 2008 I played microstakes for about 8 months and made a few thousand dollars. Borrowed I think $3k from my parents to move out and play. Tanked that roll in a matter of a month and moved back home.

In 2009 I played microstakes again for 6-8 months and made my way up to nl200. Moved out in 2010. While living on my own I gradually lost interest in poker. I lasted about 8 months on my own before I'd mismanaged my finances enough that I decided to move back home. It actually took me less than 8 months to screw it up. I borrowed another $4k from my parents at one point so I could cover living expenses.

Over this whole period I cashed out about $50k. My total deposits were around $7k.

My taxes owing were about $9.4k. I've paid around $1k so far.

In the later part of 2010 and at a few points throughout 2011 I played microstakes again and wasn't able to build up a roll. In total I think I've lost a couple hundred dollars since September 2010.

Last month I cashed out my final $125.

Up until recently I assumed that because I'd read some books and watched training videos, used holdem manager, etc, I was definitely considered to be in the business of poker. After reading about that lawyer who couldn't get his poker playing to be considered a business even though he'd spent money on coaching, etc., it didn't seem so clear cut. Unlike him, I don't have a bunch of losing months behind me though.

Poker business operator who was a degen and still has to pay taxes?

Naive kid who couldn't reasonably expect to profit/cover living expenses in the long term and shouldn't have to pay taxes?
i'm not a professional tax advisor but I don't think you have a chance. You made 43k in 2 years in what one would consider their "job", you approached poker as your job, therefore it was.

Should a person who makes minimum wage who cant meet ends meet working at Mcdonalds not have to pay income tax because they only made 43k working at mcdonalds over 2 years and mismanaged their finances?
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:42 PM   #2066
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Thanks for the feedback so far.

Is there a list anywhere of what could be considered expenses? I know there's bits and pieces scattered throughout this thread, but at 138 pages it's not exactly a breeze to go. Might do it anyway.

When I filed, all I did was look at all of the amount I withdrew and listed it all. Never factored in the $7k I deposited. That's a pretty big drop in total income right there. I also didn't claim my rent for the 8 months I was on my own.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #2067
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

You can't claim you rent. You might be able to claim a small portion of your rent if you had a dedicated office that you only used for poker. If you made that little though you might have been able to claim a rent credit for your rent if you lived in a province that gives low income people a rent credit (Ontario does).

Online poker doesn't have much when it comes to expenses unless you went out and bought a bunch of 30" monitors. The only thing I can think of is $100 for tracking software and maybe a portion of your ISP bill.

You shouldn't have included the $7000 deposits but my guess is that ill lower your tax bill by roughly $1k. If you need to pay someone to do this it is hardly worth it. I would start by doing my taxes over with the correct amounts and get an answer on how much doing them properly would have resulted in. Then you can see if this is worth doing anything about.

No offence but I have no idea why you would claim such small amounts as income. As much as I argue poker winnings are taxable that is purely a legal argument. The reality is that unless you plan to be a public pro where publicity is part of the job you should never claim poker as income.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:48 PM   #2068
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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No offence but I have no idea why you would claim such small amounts as income.
Mostly fear and lack of knowledge. I thought my income would continue to grow, though my goal was never to be a poker player for the rest of my life. I also envisioned creating an actual business and thought if I ever got audited for that, having a bunch of unclaimed income would be bad.

I don't need to pay anyone for dealing with the expenses. I can get that worked out on my own. I only wanted professional advice for if I were going to try to completely remove the income I claimed.

Now that I've claimed a couple of years, have I kind of screwed myself forever when it comes to poker? At what point would it no longer be considered a business?

I have no intention of playing poker until I've got a reliable source of income. Once I reach that point I think I could relax enough to actually win and might want to try it again, not as a full time focus.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #2069
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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No offence but I have no idea why you would claim such small amounts as income. As much as I argue poker winnings are taxable that is purely a legal argument. The reality is that unless you plan to be a public pro where publicity is part of the job you should never claim poker as income.
I apologize for asking this, im sure its been answered but i couldnt find it with a search. Would you personally file a tax return and have income at 0, or would you just not file one?
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:18 PM   #2070
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

Just a quick question. If you plan on paying taxes in the 2012 year (personal reasons) is there something I should be doing to prepare for taxes next year( I know about keeping accurate records etc.). Do you have to register somewhere your company? How do you guys factor in exchange? Do you take the amount won daily and see how it is in canadian dollar? Can you claim the deposit fee that's charged when you cash out?

Thanks!!!
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #2071
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Thanks for the feedback so far.

Is there a list anywhere of what could be considered expenses? I know there's bits and pieces scattered throughout this thread, but at 138 pages it's not exactly a breeze to go. Might do it anyway.

When I filed, all I did was look at all of the amount I withdrew and listed it all. Never factored in the $7k I deposited. That's a pretty big drop in total income right there. I also didn't claim my rent for the 8 months I was on my own.
There's very little in terms of expenses you can claim if you play solely online, Things I claim each year are:

% of Mortgage interest
% of all household bills ie: internet, utilities
Any coaching fees, poker programs like Table Ninja, Training site subscriptions
Accounting Fees, Bank service Charges etc.
Any Computer equipment, but thats depreciated over time, it's not dedected all at once

Thats about It
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #2072
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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I apologize for asking this, im sure its been answered but i couldnt find it with a search. Would you personally file a tax return and have income at 0, or would you just not file one?
This is a hard question to answer and I think it really depends on your situation. I'll work though the process of what I would consider.

First, unless you are really into the hookers and blow eventually you'll have to start filing income taxes simply because you'll have reportable income from other sources. You have to put the poker winnings that you don't spend somewhere and most people would prefer to get a return of their funds. So if you have investments then eventually you have no choice.

The second consideration is that by not filing you are very likely leaving money on the table. This is usually not significant money but depending on the province it will be anywhere from $100 to $2000.

Then there is the issue of the TFSA. If you don't file income taxes you need to do something else to prove residency and get your TFSA space. I have no idea what the other options are but filing your taxes is by far the easiest way to get use of a TFSA and I'm fairly sure any alternative option would bring more attention that just filing taxes.

Lastly there are strange things involving health care in some provinces that require that you file income tax. I know little about those since I live in Ontario where that is not a concern. It might actually not be a concern elsewhere and the person who told me it was might just not have understood but apparently in BC it is required.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:43 PM   #2073
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Just a quick question. If you plan on paying taxes in the 2012 year (personal reasons) is there something I should be doing to prepare for taxes next year( I know about keeping accurate records etc.). Do you have to register somewhere your company? How do you guys factor in exchange? Do you take the amount won daily and see how it is in canadian dollar? Can you claim the deposit fee that's charged when you cash out?

Thanks!!!
You don't have too register a company, you do that for tax reasons if you want. I am not 100% certain but I believe I am viewed as an contractor when I file taxes.

The amount I declare is the amount of the cheque I receive when I cash out:
IE: If in March I won $100 US and $100 Euro, Whatever I receive in Canadian currency is the amount I declare as winnings.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #2074
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Any Computer equipment, but thats depreciated over time, it's not dedected all at once
Normally this would be true -- computer equipment has a CCA rate of 55% except if the computer equipment was purchased in 2009 or 2010 in which case the CCA rate is 100%.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #2075
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Re: Canadian Online Poker Tax Thread

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Normally this would be true -- computer equipment has a CCA rate of 55% except if the computer equipment was purchased in 2009 or 2010 in which case the CCA rate is 100%.
You probably know more than I do, I just hand the stuff into my accountant, I just rememember thats how it used to be done but I haven't bought any equipment in a few years
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