2015 WSOP Winner McKeehen Pays $3.4m In Taxes

2015 WSOP Winner McKeehen Pays $3.4m In TaxesThe 2015 WSOP Main Event is now complete, with Joe McKeehen having cruised his way to the title, as well as collecting $7.6 million out of the tournament’s $24.8 million final table prize pool. Nevertheless, it was the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who emerged the real winners, taking away a massive 34% of the final table fund, equal to around $8.4 million, according to taxabletalk.com.
Furthermore, Joe McKeehen will only get to keep around $4,297,394 of his final score, having to cough up $3,073,240 in self-employment and federal income tax, as well as an additional $235,879 in Pennsylvania state income tax, and $76,833 as local township’s Earned Income Tax. As a result, McKeehen will eventually get to hold on to about 56% of his winnings, with 44%, or $3,385,952, ending up in the pocket of the IRS. That is assuming McKeehen didn’t arrange any profit sharing arrangements with backers before the WSOP Main Event got underway!
Likewise, New Jersey resident Josh Beckley, who received $4,470,896 for his runner-up finish will have to fork out 46.56% in taxes, or $2,081,719, while Californian resident Neil Blumenfield will only get to keep around 53%, or $1.8 million of his third place winnings of $3,398,298.
Its a different picture for certain overseas players, such as Pierre Neuville, who will get to keep all of his 7th place winnings of $1,203,293, courtesy of a tax treaty between his native Belgium and the USA. By contrast, Italian player Federico Butteroni will have to pay 47.9% of his 8th place earnings of $1,097,056 to his country’s government, making his actual winnings closer to $571,566.
Finally, spare a thought for the 2008 WSOP Main Event champion Peter Eastgate, who was handed a tax bill for $6.6 million from the Danish government, after taking down the tournament for $9,119,517. Eastgate has since relocated to London, UK, where gamblers pay zero income tax on their winnings. Smart decision.

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