Do you have to pay taxes on online poker winnings?

Question by Mets1986 Posted

Arghhhh...its that time of year again. I hate tax season.

I've been playing online in New Jersey and not sure what to do about my you have to claim them on your taxes as supplemental income?

At what point must you file a W2G? At what point are you considered a professional player?

Anyone have any ideas? Turbotax didnt really have an online poker section :-/


  1. If you're recreational you should file it in the "other income" section. The answer is yes you should report all income. I'm not sure if the site will directly report wins or losses to the IRS but if the IRS requests win loss statement from I'm sure they are required to comply.

  2. @BentonBlakeman Do you know if sites normally have a place to download tax forms or do you just enter into your forms you send to IRS?

  3. I have always wondered what counts as 'winning' in online poker, for tax purposes? Is it cashing out from the site more than you deposited? Or is it having more money sitting in your online poker account than you deposited?

    For example, when you own stock, you only have to pay income taxes when you sell the stock, not when it is still in the form of stock. Is money in an online poker account like stock?

  4. @GameChanger Oh man thats a good point. Also do buy ins go against earnings? Who keeps track of that stuff, I guess your credit card does it????

    Good idea for a business ha

  5. I replied mine as deposits minus withdrawals. So if I deposit $5k and withdraw $7k over the course of the year I pay taxes on the $2k that I profited regardless of my account. At least that's how my accountant did it. As far as tax forms it's just stated income, so no tax form. I just have my deposit receipt and cash out receipt to my accountant

  6. Deposits and withdrawals are irrelevant for purposes of timing. Any money in your account is subject to constructive receipt meaning it is yours and you have to treat it as such for tax purposes the same as if you had withdrawn it. The only counter to this would be in some cases where you are unable to get your money off of a site (and even then only if you were able to establish this fact during the tax year in question).

    As to actual calculations yes you should keep records. Decisions of whether to go with Schedule C or income and deduction is a bit too complicated and circumstance-dependent for a forum.