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Old 02-02-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
Crowe Capital
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U.S. tax questions

I have two questions that weren't explicitly covered in the U.S. tax sticky. Mods - it might be helpful to have an open thread similar to the Canadian tax thread where people can ask one-off U.S. tax questions since while the sticky is fantastic, it doesn't cover everything.

1) Is playing the same type of cash game on two different sites at once still considered one session?

2) How long of a break can I take during my session while still counting it as one session? Does it matter whether I leave my tables (get booted for inactivity) during this break and rejoin after?

-Scenario 1: I sit out and am booted for inactivity from my tables while taking 15 minutes to use the bathroom and eat some food. Then I rejoin tables of the same game type

-Scenario 2: I leave my tables to lie down for 30 minutes after playing a while to rest my eyes and refresh for the rest of my session. Then I rejoin tables of the same game type

-Scenario 3: I sit out at my tables for a 5 minute break, am not booted from the tables, and sit back in

Thank you in advance for any insight.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:15 AM   #2
PokerXanadu
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Re: U.S. tax questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowe Capital View Post
I have two questions that weren't explicitly covered in the U.S. tax sticky. Mods - it might be helpful to have an open thread similar to the Canadian tax thread where people can ask one-off U.S. tax questions since while the sticky is fantastic, it doesn't cover everything.
Anyone can start a thread. In fact, you just did. Doubtful that it will continue like you describe though - every other attempt at such a thread has failed (including a sticky thread). But it hasn't stopped anyone from getting their tax questions answered in this forum.

Quote:
1) Is playing the same type of cash game on two different sites at once still considered one session?
Probably not.

Quote:
2) How long of a break can I take during my session while still counting it as one session? Does it matter whether I leave my tables (get booted for inactivity) during this break and rejoin after?
Unknown. Maybe.

Quote:
-Scenario 1: I sit out and am booted for inactivity from my tables while taking 15 minutes to use the bathroom and eat some food. Then I rejoin tables of the same game type
Probably one session.

Quote:
-Scenario 2: I leave my tables to lie down for 30 minutes after playing a while to rest my eyes and refresh for the rest of my session. Then I rejoin tables of the same game type
Probably one session.

Quote:
-Scenario 3: I sit out at my tables for a 5 minute break, am not booted from the tables, and sit back in
Probably one session.

Quote:
Thank you in advance for any insight.
It is impossible to answer any of these questions with certainty as there is no guidance from the IRS on how to count poker sessions, either online or live. In fact, there is no guidance from the IRS that says that counting poker wins and losses need to be done on a per-session basis. That has simply been the best informed guess of the tax pros who have poker pro clients, from their knowledge of IRS gambling rules and regulations and their experience with handling their clients' tax returns.

If you do it some other way, you only have to face consequences if the IRS examines your return and the examining IRS agent takes issue with the way you have done it. You may then be assessed back taxes, interest and penalties if their numbers disagree with yours.

It is doubtful that counting sessions one way or another under your scenarios will make any difference in the amount of your taxes one way or another. You could probably even count one session as everything you play of the same game type from the time you log in to the site to the time you log out of the site and still end up with the same income tax liability as counting each time you log into or out of a table as one session. If the income tax liability is the same either way, there won't be any issue should the IRS examine your return.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:48 PM   #3
Crowe Capital
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Re: U.S. tax questions

Thanks for the helpful response
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