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Legislation for Poker & Income Taxes for Poker Players Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 07-30-2010, 04:44 PM   #976
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

I really don't understand why there are people itt bashing the PPA. If it were not for the PPA, it's very likely that none of us in the USA would be playing poker right now, let alone the fact that we are getting closer to having legal on-line poker in this country. Look, I realize that there are issues that may or may not get worked out, but saying that HR2267 getting through mark-up is anything but a win for poker players is ridiculous.


Thanks PPA for all the work that you have done.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:47 PM   #977
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Im not asking for a direct democracy either, but I do feel we need to ask for sacrifice, not demand it, if that makes sense.

I do submit that the final bill needs to be discussed, and potential dangerous provisions should probably be discussed as they come up. Bills can move fast, and we dont want to be caught flatfooted without a sense of what players want.

I am encouraged to hear that membership input will be sought as we move further down the process.

I also submit that transparency and openness breeds trust. It is completely understandable that there are things that cant be divulged on a public forum.

I do think that the more that you can divulge, and the more objective the analysis of things as they are happening, the more trust you earn as an organization.

I think the PPA is generally very open, communicative, and reactive to feedback. I also think the organization has a tendency to downplay certain setbacks and speedbumps, portray certain things, (particularly related to legislation) in a "best case" light, and get a little bit defensive when people question certain things as optimistic or debates strategy.

Improvements in these tendencies and in communication breeds more trust, IMO, which can do nothing but help the cause.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:48 PM   #978
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by aces_full1963 View Post
I really don't understand why there are people itt bashing the PPA. If it were not for the PPA, it's very likely that none of us in the USA would be playing poker right now, let alone the fact that we are getting closer to having legal on-line poker in this country. Look, I realize that there are issues that may or may not get worked out, but saying that HR2267 getting through mark-up is anything but a win for poker players is ridiculous.


Thanks PPA for all the work that you have done.
The vast, vast, vast majority of this thread, including myself, is not bashing the PPA.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:51 PM   #979
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by LetsGambool View Post
The vast, vast, vast majority of this thread, including myself, is not bashing the PPA.
Bashing may be a bit harsh, I agree. I don't understand some of the negativity though.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:52 PM   #980
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by LeapFrog View Post
congressional members that believe it places an unnecessary and onerous burden on banks? I doubt it would have much support.

Look, this is very simple. I believe that all Americans should have the right to play poker online, at a decent room. I will not support legislation which further endangers that right or organization that advocates for it.
There is only one end game here and that is the federal licensing and regulation of this multi-billion dollar industry. Even if we pursued the litigation route and won, you would still end up with a federal licensing and regulation scheme. That is the end game no matter how you play it. I don’t see one other legal multi-billion dollar industry that is not licensed or regulated in some way. And with that end game will come states that choose to opt out for whatever reason.

If you lived during Prohibition, would you have not supported the repeal of the ban on alcohol because people in states that continued to enforce prohibition (after the 21st Amendment repealed the prohibition but still gave states the right to ban it) were worse off as the black market dried up?
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:15 PM   #981
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Prohibition is an excellent example of a similar situation. Thanks pianospike.

With hindsight is it not fair to say that anyone who stood up in 1932 and said "I am against this repeal of prohibition because my state will stay "dry" and thats not fair to those of us in dry states" would feel pretty foolish today?

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Old 07-30-2010, 05:30 PM   #982
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

LG, I sympathize with your view. No doubt that giving the states the power (which they don't have now) to ban online poker to their citizens is a gamble. HR 2267-68 or S1957 (HR 2267) is a gamble. OTOH, so is litigation.

The real question is which is the best gamble for the majority of PPA members. IMO, it is HR2267.

The problem with litigation is that we might lose the case at the district court level because some political, activist judge, like the one in the AZ immigration law case, makes a political and not a legal decision (this judge made her decision largely based on the DOJ's assertion that the AZ law would lead to racial profiling, without any facts and in clearly ignoring SCOTUS case precedent). This would disrupt online poker for quite some time (likely over 1 year) while the case was appealed. So even if we then won on appeal, the game would be somewhat harmed. My only disagreement with TE and Skall is their opinion that Congress would reverse our litigation victory. I don't believe it would for a long time.

The only reason that I urged litigation is because IMO passage of HR 2267 seems so unlikely and litigation takes a long time. I hoped that the PPA could pursue both at the same time, but the PPA believes that litigation would harm the chances of HR 2267-68's passage.

I would hope that if HR 2267 does not become this year that next year the PPA will start the litigation alternative; especially if the GOP takes control of one, or both, houses of Congress.

The only other alternative is revolution against, or secession from, Washington, D.C. The problem is that the Internet may not survive these alternatives.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:37 PM   #983
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

I have been involved in fights over “Blue Laws” and “dry counties” and more recently the state lottery. (NO, I will never buy a lottery ticket, but people should have the option) My point is that each time a county revoked their “Blue Laws” or went “wet” or each state that offered lottery tickets; it made it easier for the adjacent counties or states to eventually overturn these laws.

My state may well be an opt out state (TN). But every state that opts in after the passage of this law will make it more likely we will eventually opt in.

BTW aren’t their certain states that aren’t served by PS or FT currently? Isn’t it likely these will be the same states opting out? I personally doubt that many players who can play now won’t be able to play on a licensed site after the passage of this bill.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:56 PM   #984
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by Merkle View Post
BTW aren’t their certain states that aren’t served by PS or FT currently? Isn’t it likely these will be the same states opting out? I personally doubt that many players who can play now won’t be able to play on a licensed site after the passage of this bill.
Some sites have at times not taken players from certain states. PS and FT, I believe, take players from all states. I'm sure this is based on it being interstate commerce and thus only federal law can forbid it.
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:56 PM   #985
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by Merkle View Post
BTW aren’t their certain states that aren’t served by PS or FT currently? Isn’t it likely these will be the same states opting out? I personally doubt that many players who can play now won’t be able to play on a licensed site after the passage of this bill.
This is incorrect. Both FTP and PS serve all 50 states.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:42 PM   #986
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Thanks for the correcting info about all 50 states
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:07 PM   #987
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by novahunterpa View Post
While we're still a long ways from anything becoming law and changes to these bills will be made along the way,right now as the the bill stands if your state opt-out ,you will miss out on all the positives of US regulation

No one can say which or how many states are going to opt-out right now. It may be many states or very few. Even with state opt-outs I believe Federal legislation is the only viable option for online poker in the long term. If my state opts-out it going to suck to be me but for the greater good I'll except that.

Everyone should just assume ,at this point ,that their state is going to opt-out, then decide if you still support Federal legislation,, I still do. IF you only support the bill because you believe you're in an "opt-in" state, then you don't give a **** about anyone else and are willing to throw them under the bus, but guess what your state may be on that opt-out list.

Lets not pretend those in opt-outs states aren't going to get a raw deal,they will.
Mr. novahunterpa:

A lot of good points. There's another interesting way of looking at this state opt-out issue. Let's say, just for the sake of argument, (or think of this as the "worst case" scenario), that HR 2267 and associated bills pass and become the law of the land only to be followed by all fifty states opting out! What percentage of PPA members do you think will be in favor of "legalized internet poker" if they suddenly discover they can't play poker on the internet at all? (That's a rhetorical question.)

I concede that a "worst case" scenario will not happen - we all know there is no way that all 50 states would (or will) opt-out. However, we also know this fact: The number of states that will opt out is somewhere between one and fifty. As that number increases getting ever closer to fifty, at what point do online poker players begin scratching their hands and saying to themselves, "What the hell is going on here?" At what point does the "sacrifice" the PPA is asking folks like me to make - "Be a good sport and take one for the team! It's for the greater good, Former DJ!" - at what point does the sacrifice become too much? Perhaps when your state chooses to opt out?

There is an "equilibrium number" - a point at which the number of states that opt out becomes more of a "net negative" than a "net positive" for online players. This is subjective on my part, but I suspect the equilibrium number may be as low as 10 - especially if three of the 10 are states like California, Texas, and Massachusetts.

With state opt-outs, the PPA could win the battle only to find that we [poker players] have lost the war. Chairman D'Amato and Mr. Pappas need to get heart attack serious about getting that 50 percent deposit tax for players in opt-out states out of the bills. They either do that or risk a rebellion from their membership. The PPA can keep a lid on knowledge about state opt outs for awhile, but not indefinitely. If this bill passes and 15-20 states opt-out, our elected representatives will be hearing from their [poker playing] constituents. For sure.

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Old 07-30-2010, 09:48 PM   #988
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

WTF. You might get taken seriously on occasion if you didn't cry wolf at every opportunity.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:27 PM   #989
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Former DJ View Post
Mr. novahunterpa:

A lot of good points. There's another interesting way of looking at this state opt-out issue....

The PPA can keep a lid on knowledge about state opt outs for awhile, but not indefinitely. If this bill passes and 15-20 states opt-out, our elected representatives will be hearing from their [poker playing] constituents. For sure.

Former DJ
Cliff notes: "If I cant have mine right now, nobody else should have theirs either."

Under the world view of Former DJ, we poker players have the power to get the federal government to impose legal online poker in all 50 states. But we (or at least the PPA*) choose not to do that and instead merely exercise our power to get the Federal Government to implement a legal federal online poker system is applicable to all states but allows states to opt out. Then all of a sudden (or perhaps all part of their* nefarious scheme) our power disappears. We no longer have the power to convince some, many, MOST, MAYBE EVEN ALL states not to opt out. I am at a loss trying to understand how we can have this influence nationally but have little or none in most states, but, hey what do I know. The evil genius somewhere now roars "hahahahaha, you fell for my plan, you fools."

In my world view our success at the Federal level will mean ultimate success in most, maybe even ALL if the final law is poker-only, states. We may have to work hard and long in some states, and folks in those state will be worse off while the fight goes on. But the best way to get openly legal and regulated online poker in the US FOR ALL is to get a viable system going in most states and, by the example of our success, ultimately get it everywhere, or at least in every state where the theocratic right is not an overwhelming power.

Oh, and BTW, "keeping a lid on knowledge about state opt outs" is why we have all these posts and replies, right? I really kept a lid on it by creating a thread on the subject that has become one of the most popular threads in this forum.

Skallagrim

* We PPA robots (which seems, according to former DJ, to include myself, TE and PX) are supposedly brainwashed into doing this by our fearless leaders who have been trained in such secret techniques in Spotsylvania. Those same leaders are alleged by former DJ to have personal financial interests in screwing around US poker players. I, I, I, reboot, I am here to tell you this is not true. In actual fact we all work for the Bavarian Illuminati and all of this is really just a small part of creating the one-world government.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:16 PM   #990
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by novahunterpa View Post
While we're still a long ways from anything becoming law and changes to these bills will be made along the way,right now as the the bill stands if your state opt-out ,you will miss out on all the positives of US regulation

No one can say which or how many states are going to opt-out right now. It may be many states or very few. Even with state opt-outs I believe Federal legislation is the only viable option for online poker in the long term. If my state opts-out it going to suck to be me but for the greater good I'll except that.

Everyone should just assume ,at this point ,that their state is going to opt-out, then decide if you still support Federal legislation,, I still do. IF you only support the bill because you believe you're in an "opt-in" state, then you don't give a **** about anyone else and are willing to throw them under the bus, but guess what your state may be on that opt-out list.

Lets not pretend those in opt-outs states aren't going to get a raw deal,they will.
Bears repeating.

We are taking a big gamble on what the states will do. Maybe we have a perfect storm of states desperate for revenue right now - or maybe not. Maybe we don't get legislation for another couple of years, possibly after the state budgets recover and the religious right makes gains in congress.

I don't know whether my state will opt out. That will depend on the elections. But I do know that the opt-out states will suffer a lot. I'm just hoping that if we can at least get California and a few other states in, then the revenue lure will eventually work for nearly every state.

I'm not worried about PS and FTP at all. From what I understand, the majority of the money (at FTP) is made by the software company that licenses it to the gaming company. They'll be able to license their software to anyone they please. And of course the gaming company has resources to sell too.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:58 AM   #991
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by novahunterpa View Post
While we're still a long ways from anything becoming law and changes to these bills will be made along the way,right now as the the bill stands if your state opt-out ,you will miss out on all the positives of US regulation

No one can say which or how many states are going to opt-out right now. It may be many states or very few. Even with state opt-outs I believe Federal legislation is the only viable option for online poker in the long term. If my state opts-out it going to suck to be me but for the greater good I'll except that.

Everyone should just assume ,at this point ,that their state is going to opt-out, then decide if you still support Federal legislation,, I still do. IF you only support the bill because you believe you're in an "opt-in" state, then you don't give a **** about anyone else and are willing to throw them under the bus, but guess what your state may be on that opt-out list.

Lets not pretend those in opt-outs states aren't going to get a raw deal,they will.
I feed my kids by playing poker. I have to do what's best for me, that's just how it is. If my state (Ohio) opts out, and my ability to play poker online is severely impeded, I will be extremely upset - and I'm positive that I won't be the only one.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:23 AM   #992
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

so when should we expect a House vote on the bill?
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:25 AM   #993
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Most states won't opt out. Only reason states would opt out is if they are very far right on social issues (Utah) or really want to protect their B&M gaming operations. Not sure if Nevada or New Jersey would want to pull that trigger, Washington might (since they already passed the law theoretically banning online poker anyway). California would probably find their intra-state plan preempted.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:38 AM   #994
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

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Originally Posted by ktulu22 View Post
I feed my kids by playing poker. I have to do what's best for me, that's just how it is. If my state (Ohio) opts out, and my ability to play poker online is severely impeded, I will be extremely upset - and I'm positive that I won't be the only one.
Everyone who lives in an opt-out state is going to pissed. Right now we don't know who those opt-out states will be, that's why I say just assume you're in an opt-out state when considering the bill.

Many people who support the bill assume there in an "opt-in" state and there safe, hopefully they are but no one knows, their state may be one to opt-out. I just don't want people who support the legislation to be surprised if their state opts-out, and then be pissed at the PPA because they didn't know or weren't warned at the possibility.

Hopefully not many opt-out, eventually many that do opt-out at first will change their mind and opt back in once they see the success of the states who decided to opt-in.

IMO we don't have a choice long term, we need to regulate online poker. The status quo wont last forever, it can't. Countries all over the world are either,starting to license/regulate online poker or ban/block it. Major sites aren't going to be able to stay in the US for ever, at some point if the US doesn't regulate it, they'll ban it,once they do sites can no longer say they aren't violating US law and many will have to leave the US market,one way or another.

That's why we need to support legislation and work hard to improve the language the best we can. Not every bill is perfect but we need to support the legislative process because the status quo will decline over time.

IMO that's the reason to support regulation, not because today you think your state wont opt-out, it just might.

Last edited by novahunterpa; 07-31-2010 at 03:43 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:23 AM   #995
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthrie
Maybe this has already been covered in this voluminous thread, but here's my one tiny little suggestion: If the bill is going to have some provision for withholding US income taxes, then how about an amendment that forces the IRS to let all players, not just those who can convince them they are pros, simply net total losses against total winnings and fill in one line on their tax return? They will no doubt be required to provide exactly that same information to the IRS electronically anyway, just like banks do for interest income.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skallagrim View Post
A provision in the Senate bill does precisely this (site sends a form to you and IRS indicating net win/loss for the year). PPA will continue to fight for such a provision being in whatever becomes the final law. And, actually, no one on Capitol Hill seems to have a problem with this.

Skallagrim
While the tax provisions in the Senate bill do include a requirement for the sites to report net gambling wins for the year, the tax report also includes Gross Winnings and Gross Losses:

Quote:
‘(b) Required Information- For purposes of subsection (a), the information described in this subsection is--

‘(1) the name, address, and TIN of the person described in subsection (a);

‘(2) the name, address, and TIN of each person placing a bet or wager (within the meaning of section 4491) with the person described in subsection (a) during the calendar year;

‘(3) the gross winnings, gross wagers, and gross losses for the calendar year of each person placing a bet or wager as described in paragraph (2);

‘(4) the net Internet gaming winnings for each such person for the calendar year;

‘(5) the amount of tax withheld, if any, with respect to each such person by the person described in subsection (a) for the calendar year;

‘(6) the balance of any account maintained for each person placing a bet or wager as described in paragraph (2) by the person described in subsection (a), at the beginning and the end of the calendar year; and

‘(7) the amounts of all deposits and withdrawals from each such account during such calendar year.

...

‘(d) Net Internet Gaming Winnings- The term ‘net Internet gaming winnings’ means gross winnings from bets or wagers with an Internet game-of-skill facility (within the meaning of section 4491) for which a license is required under section 5382(b)(1) of title 31, United States Code, reduced (but not below zero) by the amounts bet or wagered.’.
While this is a step in the right direction, the bill's tax provisions do not change US tax code in regards to how taxpayers report gambling winnings and losses on their income tax returns. I don't think the IRS will allow taxpayers to net unless the bill makes this change, explicitly.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #996
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Pardon me if it is off the point, but I wonder if I decided to deposit on either FTP/PS and if HR 2267 started out after the bill is made into law, will it affect me playing at those sites because it was pre-HR 2267 bill. Will they require to return my funds back, or just keep playing and I will have to withdraw using HR 2267 ruling. I am just curious what conclusions it will arise to if I started playing before this bill takes effect.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:15 PM   #997
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Why does everyone think this is a good thing? I don't get it. It is NOT illegal to play poker online RIGHT NOW and frankly I do not see anything the GOVT could do about it anyway. I think they have tried with freezing some cashouts but that was quickly counteracted by the sites, leaving them with their xxxx in their hand.

I hope it never passes.

Think about how many players can beat the rake, the opponents, AND some ridiculous tax rate. Almost nobody.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:34 PM   #998
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quit being uninformed idiots. Full tilt said rake will stay the same or have a slight increase. This is because doing business when the government can seize xx million from you at any time is costly, and the lack of that situation drops the processing costs down a lot. Considering the amount of competition that's going to open up to grasp a majority of the American poker market, it's very likely rake stays the same. Next, the government passed UIGEA, if we didn't have this law maintaining a large amount of votes, they would be trying to pass something stronger right now.

Winrates will be higher after this law, end of story.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:05 PM   #999
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
While this is a step in the right direction, the bill's tax provisions do not change US tax code in regards to how taxpayers report gambling winnings and losses on their income tax returns. I don't think the IRS will allow taxpayers to net unless the bill makes this change, explicitly.
Yeah PPA needs to make sure to get this in, and make sure it's worded clearly. Should be easy since I doubt anyone is against it. Maybe even squeeze it in on some tax bill that's guaranteed to pass rather than waiting for this legislation.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:17 PM   #1000
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Re: HR 2267 Markup (Passed 41-22-1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
While the tax provisions in the Senate bill do include a requirement for the sites to report net gambling wins for the year, the tax report also includes Gross Winnings and Gross Losses:



While this is a step in the right direction, the bill's tax provisions do not change US tax code in regards to how taxpayers report gambling winnings and losses on their income tax returns. I don't think the IRS will allow taxpayers to net unless the bill makes this change, explicitly.
Currently the IRS has ZERO regulations with respect to how to report online wagering income. The private experts in the field (like Russ Fox and all of the folks who contributed to this forum's tax sticky) have taken the IRS regulations for live wagering and tried to adapt them to online wagering without any official guidance. The intent of the above provision was to end the confusion and allow simple yearly netting (with a form from a licensed site) when filing taxes.

But I agree its best to spell it out even more directly and our lobbyists are pushing for that. I think it will happen because, as NoahSD said, virtually no one is against that simple and fair result.

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