I and the Bird #60
Tag! I'm it!

Listen up, poker players:
You owe the IRS.

Back in early September, the IRS issued a revenue procedure reminding folks that Uncle Sam gets to put his paws into your jackpots.

Specifically, that notice (Rev. Proc. 2007-57) was aimed at poker tournament sponsors, including casinos, reiterating their tax withholding and information reporting obligations.

You can read the details in this earlier blog posting, but the basics are that, in the IRS' words, "beginning March 4, 2008, the IRS will require all tournament sponsors to report tournament winnings of more than $5,000, usually on an IRS Form W-2G."

Just so everyone knows: Well, the IRS wants to make very, very sure everyone got the word. So the agency has issued another release (you can read it here) repeating the new poker tourney reporting requirements.

Aces_poker_chips_2 The agency also took the opportunity to remind individuals who are holding winning hands that, by law, they must report all their winnings on their federal income tax returns.

"This rule applies regardless of the amount and regardless of whether the winner receives a Form W-2G or any other reporting form," reminds the IRS. "This is true for 2007 and earlier years, and will continue to be the case after the new reporting requirement goes into effect."

If you're lucky enough to win, which means you're unlucky enough to owe taxes, this story can help you keep the tax man off your back.

Tax geek speak: The IRS issues its information in what seems like a gazillion types of forms -- revenue rulings, revenue procedures, regulations, notices, etc., etc., etc.

And, as the poker tourney info shows, they often repeat things in multiple formats.

The original announcement back in September was in a Revenue Procedure, which is an official statement of IRS action that affects taxpayers and which should be a matter of public knowledge. Basically, it's the IRS' way of saying you probably already know this, but just in case, here it is again.

Other poker perils: Just ran across this story on MSNBC:

"[A] leading Internet poker site said Friday that a hacker exploited a security flaw to gain an insurmountable edge in high-stakes, no-limit Texas holdem tournaments -- the ability to see his opponents' hole cards. 

Hint: it was an inside job. Details here.


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Going to keep this in mind, taxes are no fun :)

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