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Poker Legislation & PPA Discussion hosted by Rich Muny Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 03-03-2009, 11:32 PM   #1
LetsGambool
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Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

I thought that since poker sites are unequivocally foreign bank accounts this year and there seems to be a lot of confusion with how to report the accounts (including sites refusing to give the needed information), a specific thread for information gleaned on how to properly file this report would be useful.

Hopefully Russ and other CPA's can chime in with their thoughts.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:48 PM   #2
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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Originally Posted by LetsGambool View Post
I thought that since poker sites are unequivocally foreign bank accounts this year and there seems to be a lot of confusion with how to report the accounts (including sites refusing to give the needed information), a specific thread for information gleaned on how to properly file this report would be useful.

Hopefully Russ and other CPA's can chime in with their thoughts.
looking at the FBAR form:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f90221.pdf

It asks for account info, think they will say WHATTTT when they see OTHER checked and poker stars written in and under account identification a screen name rather than an account number?

obg
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:53 PM   #3
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Counts as an other designation I guess, but Im sure people would rather not have the screen name they currently have. How'd you like to file an IRS return with lolblackpeople as the account name?
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:16 AM   #4
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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Counts as an other designation I guess, but Im sure people would rather not have the screen name they currently have. How'd you like to file an IRS return with lolblackpeople as the account name?

Just making an observation the Treasury is going to go nuts whith this rule.

All in all it should be comical, imagine the letter you may receive:

Dear Mr. XXXXX

Can you please clarify the account and account identification - RED STAR POKER and GOPSucks - you have provided for on your FBAR report please?

obg
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:19 AM   #5
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Yeah Im sure the audit rate is going to be ridiculous. Not having mailing addresses is going to be a problem too.
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:28 AM   #6
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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Originally Posted by LetsGambool View Post
Yeah Im sure the audit rate is going to be ridiculous. Not having mailing addresses is going to be a problem too.

Poker stars:

Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited,
49 Victoria Street,
Douglas,
IM1 2LD, Isle of Man.
License No. 7

From the footer on PS web.

Should be good enough.

The reality is in the long run in the end it will be COULD be good for legalization.

There will be some indication as to really what is being missed out on and the reality is the FBAR reports will only account for a small fraction of actual play.

The backbone of poker are the smaller players not the Ivey's, Durrrr's and such though in this respect perhaps Truepoker CEO could offer a glimps.


obg
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:36 AM   #7
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

AWESOME thanks I looked for it on the site and somehow missed it, that's what I hope this thread turns into, a place where people can find the info needed to file.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:48 AM   #8
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

can someone show a link of where this has become so explicit now? just because russ fox went out of his way to get a clarification for himself, they need to make it clear and public, no?
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:32 AM   #9
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

They havent made an announcement, but Im not sure I want to be the test case for it especially since land based casinos are specifically included. The penalties are very bad.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:48 AM   #10
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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can someone show a link of where this has become so explicit now? just because russ fox went out of his way to get a clarification for himself, they need to make it clear and public, no?
No, just how much of the tax code do you consider clear in the first place? It has always been public information, I just believe poker players "wished" it wasn't so, that doesn't make it not so.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:40 AM   #11
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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can someone show a link of where this has become so explicit now? just because russ fox went out of his way to get a clarification for himself, they need to make it clear and public, no?
Given that it's the FBAR group that will do the enforcement, and that Congress is considering strengthening the law, I wouldn't want to be the test case and be out $100,000 plus possible prison time.

-- Russ Fox
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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No, just how much of the tax code do you consider clear in the first place? It has always been public information, I just believe poker players "wished" it wasn't so, that doesn't make it not so.
Have you filed poker sites on the FBAR before? If so can you give us some info as to how you've done it in terms of account numbers, addresses (Full Tilt's seemed to be missing in another thread) etc? This is the first year the Treasury has stated that these are foreign banks, right or wrong very, very few poker sites have gone on this form before (e-wallets, yes)
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:03 PM   #13
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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Originally Posted by LetsGambool View Post
Have you filed poker sites on the FBAR before? If so can you give us some info as to how you've done it in terms of account numbers, addresses (Full Tilt's seemed to be missing in another thread) etc? This is the first year the Treasury has stated that these are foreign banks, right or wrong very, very few poker sites have gone on this form before (e-wallets, yes)
I'll PM you if you want.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:20 PM   #14
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Thanks, I obviously dont mean posting account numbers just how you accounted for sites where the addresses arent clear and whether you used screen names for the account numbers.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #15
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Jimbo can you just post whatever info in this thread. Doesn't seem like he is asking for your personal information, so making public how you did/would report it shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:59 PM   #16
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

i really don't get it..no one here can provide any kind of link that can be shown to a local accountant? you are just saying this is the way it is...please just give a link to show how it has changed this year...i dont care if its vague, it has to be written somewhere and i am admittedly no tax person so it'd be of great help..
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:08 PM   #17
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Read oldbookguy's link, that has the definition of financial institutions for the FBAR on there. Russ Fox got a clarification from the Treasury that says poker sites need to be included as financial institutions, they have the authority to enforce the penalties if they determined you have not reported these institutions. What more do you want?

If you want something for your accountant, why not contact the Treasury and see if they say it must be reported? The IRS isnt going to issue a statement saying that starting this year online casinos must be reported.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:10 PM   #18
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Another question....should people be amending and reporting these accounts for past years? That would kind of suck since the Treasury could fine you $10K (for each account?) from prior years if they want, but at least the $100K fine and prison is off the table.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:47 PM   #19
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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Originally Posted by LetsGambool View Post
Read oldbookguy's link, that has the definition of financial institutions for the FBAR on there. Russ Fox got a clarification from the Treasury that says poker sites need to be included as financial institutions, they have the authority to enforce the penalties if they determined you have not reported these institutions. What more do you want?

If you want something for your accountant, why not contact the Treasury and see if they say it must be reported? The IRS isnt going to issue a statement saying that starting this year online casinos must be reported.
the fact that russ fox had to get a clarification says volumes about how unclear and unsure it is...no, i dont claim they should send out newsletters with every tiny change, but can you really claim that many thousands of players that pay their taxes arent going to do this simply because they dont talk to russ fox?
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:23 PM   #20
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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the fact that russ fox had to get a clarification says volumes about how unclear and unsure it is...no, i dont claim they should send out newsletters with every tiny change, but can you really claim that many thousands of players that pay their taxes arent going to do this simply because they dont talk to russ fox?
You seem to be unfamiliar with the IRS. May I ask if you are an American taxpayer? Because if you were it seems you should know the old rule of life, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." This applies even more-so to IRS regulations.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #21
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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You seem to be unfamiliar with the IRS. May I ask if you are an American taxpayer? Because if you were it seems you should know the old rule of life, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." This applies even more-so to IRS regulations.

Also, IIRC russ wrote year after year asking for a clarification on this and was ignored, thus no one, him included I would guess, reported poker sites on the FBAR.

Now, this year he received a positive response, yes, report.

To me this indicates a change, publicized or not.

obg
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:32 PM   #22
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Do you guys not see how absurd this sounds? Year after year he writes asking and gets nothing. There are no public changes and out of nowhere he gets a response this year. 99.9999% of accountants out there are not writing them year after year checking about this. 95% + people won't do this. If I make money online, i can and will do this, but am i not allowed to point out the truth? If someone's accountant checked this out last year, they have no reason to assume anything has changed, am I wrong?? claiming they will jail someone over this is blatant exaggeration and ridiculous. I find it a bit disturbing that Russ would make that claim. You could get audited, and be in some trouble facing some penalties, but in a case like this, if the IRS believed you paid your taxes in full, making a good faith effort, they would never come down on you like that.

Do I believe you guys here? Yes, I do. But that doesn't mean you shouldnt discuss the practical facts. Thousands of players unwittingly won't do this. Then what?

Perhaps you should also be honest and say reporting PokerStars as an offshore financial institution will also prob increase your audit chances by a huge %.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:41 PM   #23
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

[QUOTE=insidemanpoker;9149850]Do you guys not see how absurd this sounds? Year after year he writes asking and gets nothing. There are no public changes and out of nowhere he gets a response this year. 99.9999% of accountants out there are not writing them year after year checking about this. 95% + people won't do this. If I make money online, i can and will do this, but am i not allowed to point out the truth? If someone's accountant checked this out last year, they have no reason to assume anything has changed, am I wrong?? claiming they will jail someone over this is blatant exaggeration and ridiculous. I find it a bit disturbing that Russ would make that claim. You could get audited, and be in some trouble facing some penalties, but in a case like this, if the IRS believed you paid your taxes in full, making a good faith effort, they would never come down on you like that.

Do I believe you guys here? Yes, I do. But that doesn't mean you shouldnt discuss the practical facts. Thousands of players unwittingly won't do this. Then what?

Perhaps you should also be honest and say reporting PokerStars as an offshore financial institution will also prob increase your audit chances by a huge %.[/QUOTE]


As to reporting I do not know, Russ asks since he deals with gambling on a regular basis.

As to audit % I would think no more than any other poker reports since the form goes to Treasury, NOT the IRS.

obg
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:44 PM   #24
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

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Originally Posted by insidemanpoker View Post
Do you guys not see how absurd this sounds? Year after year he writes asking and gets nothing. There are no public changes and out of nowhere he gets a response this year. 99.9999% of accountants out there are not writing them year after year checking about this. 95% + people won't do this. If I make money online, i can and will do this, but am i not allowed to point out the truth? If someone's accountant checked this out last year, they have no reason to assume anything has changed, am I wrong?? claiming they will jail someone over this is blatant exaggeration and ridiculous. I find it a bit disturbing that Russ would make that claim. You could get audited, and be in some trouble facing some penalties, but in a case like this, if the IRS believed you paid your taxes in full, making a good faith effort, they would never come down on you like that.

Do I believe you guys here? Yes, I do. But that doesn't mean you shouldnt discuss the practical facts. Thousands of players unwittingly won't do this. Then what?

Perhaps you should also be honest and say reporting PokerStars as an offshore financial institution will also prob increase your audit chances by a huge %.
FBAR enforcement is outside the typical audit procedure AFAIK. I think you can have been entirely honest in your tax returns and still face FBAR penalties. No one on here is happy with this, but it is what it is.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:32 PM   #25
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Re: Reporting Poker Sites as Foreign Accounts Catch All

Should we report poker sites balance as part of FBAR for 2006 and 2007 as well or should we start doing it only from tax year 2008 onwards..

does anyone have any perspectives on this.
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