It is true today that there are many good Canadian poker players who find themselves winning cash by winning pot after pot in casino games. These games happen off-shore and Canadians win big. Poker players are disciplined players who refine strategies and work hard to be able to play the game well. Most of the best online players practice more than 30 hours a week and play all levels of competition from all over the world. These players deserve to win big. However, the question is, do they take home online poker winning money without tax cuts?
It is true that a player who wins a small amount of cash from online casinos do not have to pay taxes. These are casual players who sometimes win and sometime lose. However, for winning poker players, the rules of tax laws in Canada may vary.
Under Canadian law, if a poker player is a winner, and a big time pot winner at that, then he is subject to pay taxes. The law says that poker wins will be charged taxes, specifically if they are ‘income from a business.’
So, when does a poker player make his online poker winnings subject to taxes?
Well, online poker winnings will have to wait for a categorization since the Income Tax Act cannot provide an answer. There is also no case in the Income Tax Act to site an example where an individual poker player has become subject to an income tax.
So, the good news for ‘casual’ winning poker players in Canada is that your online poker winnings will not be taxed on the average, as long as no one suspects unusual activities. It is only when a poker player probably takes home millions of dollars from a poker pot in one sitting will you ever be tried and be subjected to an income tax by the government.
We all know that winning poker players would choose to delay the line in transitioning from a casual player to a pro so that there will be no paying income tax which a ‘professional’ has to make. One thing to be wary of when a winning player avoids being a professional are back taxes. So, if you are playing on a regular basis and winning a lot of cash, you may want to think about hiring a lawyer and declaring some of your online poker winnings as income.
This article is about opening your eyes to the implications of poker winnings and online tax. The best that you can do is get a good lawyer for your online poker winnings, especially if poker has really become your main source of income and way of life. Love the game, but be a responsible poker player. Good luck!
By Shane Sapno
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