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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 02-17-2018, 04:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 23
Taxes in Nevada as a poker player

I've been searching around different forums, but I couldn't find the answer to a few of my questions. Some quick facts: I moved to Nevada in May of 2017 to pursue poker. I didn't play it full time, due to complications my wife was having with her health. (I read somewhere that you have to play at least 20hrs per week to be considered a professional. While other sources said you are considered a professional if you are supporting yourself ONLY with your poker winnings, regardless of how many hours you play.)

1) I won 2nd place online during a WSOP satelitte, and cashed for $8,670. WSOP sent me a W-2G, and stated to report this income on my federal tax return. Is this going to be a separate file from my wins/losses I would file as a professional gambler?

2) I read multiple places that you can't report losses that exceed your winnings. Is this true even for professional gamblers, because this year was a losing year for me. Well, I was actually profiting online, but losing in live tournaments.

3) Since there is no income tax in Nevada, do I only report my wins / losses for my federal return and not my state return? This is the confusing part.

4) Lastly, I am using turbo tax. I assume I will file under "self-employed", but do I get to report all my wins and losses, or just my wins? What deductions can I use as well?

Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 23
Re: Taxes in Nevada as a poker player

Help anyone?
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:55 PM   #3
Carpal \'Tunnel
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 24,166
Re: Taxes in Nevada as a poker player

Excerpt (links are not clickable or seeable in this quote - go to the post at the link above):

How do I properly file my tax return with respect to my poker income?

Q: What is the difference between filing as an amateur gambler and filing as a professional gambler?

A: The big differences are:

An amateur player cannot report only the net of their wins and losses on their income tax return. Instead, the sum of their winning sessions is reported as Gambling Income under Other Income on line 21 on their Form 1040 and the sum of their losing sessions can be deducted (up to the extent of winnings) as Gambling Losses on Schedule A Itemized Deductions under Other Miscellaneous Deductions (see below for more on when you should or should not itemize). In the end, tax will be paid on the net when you itemize, but the gross will impact Adjusted Gross Income, which can limit other taxpayer deductions and credits. (see Tax Implications for Recreational Gamblers

(for examples)

A professional gambler nets his or her winnings on a Schedule C Business Income.

A professional gambler is able to take deductions for business expenses related to his or her gambling. Note that a 2011 U.S. Tax Court case confirms that professional poker players can take such deductions even in excess of a net gambling win for the year. For example, a professional with a losing year will still be able to deduct his "ordinary and necessary" business expenses against other income, or carry it over as a net operating loss. (see Victory in U.S. Tax Court for Professional Gamblers as well as Paying taxes on losing year? for a more detailed discussion of the mechanics of handling a losing year for a professional player). [NOTE FROM ME: With the recent passing of the new tax bill, I think it may not be true anymore that professionals can deduct business expenses in excess of gambling wins.]

A professional gambler must file Schedule SE and pay an additional ~15.3% of his or her income in self-employment tax (For 2011, it's 10.4% towards Social Security on the first $106,800 of income, plus 2.9% towards Medicare on all income).

A professional gambler may be entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit, available for low-income individuals. (see Earned Income Tax Credit for Professional Gamblers )

Tax Implications for Recreational Gamblers

Victory in U.S. Tax Court for Professional Gamblers

Earned Income Tax Credit for Professional Gamblers

IRS Resources:

Form 1040 -- Note that both amateurs and professionals must file the Form 1040, and not either of the shorter forms 1040A or 1040EZ.

Schedule A

Schedule C

Schedule SE

Self-Employment Tax

Q: Should I file as an amateur or a professional? Must I file one way or the other?

A: This is a very complicated question that should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Most people will not have a choice, as their circumstances will dictate that they file one way or the other.

In general, if you have been making your living solely from poker and have no other job and are not a full-time student, you definitely must file as a professional. If you have a full-time job, you usually must file as an amateur. A full-time student can usually choose to file as either an amateur or a professional.

For further discussion, see Tax Court, SE TAX, and what you really HAVE to do and Better odds for pro gamblers' business deductions. A non-exhaustive list of factors that tax courts have considered in making the amateur-vs.-professional determination is available at Taxation of Gambling: Professional Versus Amateur Gambler.


Last edited by Lego05; 02-27-2018 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:47 AM   #4
old hand
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 1,413
Re: Taxes in Nevada as a poker player

there is no state return in nevada... no state income tax....
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