Poker Pros Can Now Deduct Business Expenses Following Court RulingMarch 18, 2011 9:44 am
Following a recent court ruling, poker players in the US have received their first bit of good news in some time after it was announced they were now entitled to deduct business expenses when filing their tax returns.
In the past, poker players, gamblers in general and accountants were left to languish in a grey area where it wasn’t made clear whether expense deductions were permissible by law. However, as a result of the conclusion of a ten year old case involving Californian horse bettor Robert Mayo, the lay of the land has now been clearly established.
Commenting on the recent ruling, poker tax expert Ann-Margaret Johnston said:
“The recent ruling is a victory for poker players for a change. This makes it where we can finally treat the expenses by pros as actual write-offs even though they may not have income…All we need now is a ruling that losses can be taken when they exceed income and we will have it made!”
Previously, professional gamblers were only allowed to deduct expenses up to the amount they won but now following the landmark ruling will be permitted to adjust their past three years’ of returns, accordingly.
However, a key caveat to the law is that a player must be considered a professional gambler. In other words, most of their income should be derived from gambling, be it playing cards, betting on sports or racing, playing at the casino, or any number of other gambling related activities.
In a positive twist, the new ruling has elevated professional gambling to a more respectable status in society, with Nevada’s Boyd School of Law professor Steve Johnson commenting:
“What the decision says is that gambling is a business trade that is not any different than any other profession. A professional gambler can deduct business expenses.”