It is that time of the year again when you are reminded of a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin. “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Avoiding to plan your ledgers is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a poker player. To help you survive the battle of taxes, we’ve rounded up a few tips from Mac VerStandig– the attorney who represents numerous gambling professionals.

VerStandig says, “File taxes. It is amazing — and endlessly disturbing — how many pros do not. These are one of only two certainties in life; ignoring them will not make them go away.”

Advocating the necessity of tax filing, renowned Las Vegas tax professional, Ray Kondler says why it’s important to file taxes. “In most instances, the IRS is aware of their winnings and will file returns on their behalf using the least favorable filing status. This causes headaches down the line and often leads to large penalties and interest.”

Few Tax Tips from the experts

Maintain a logbook of your wins and losses, including receipts from poker trips, etc. A trackable app can come handy. Also, Keep your tax money separate from bankroll and spending money.

“Penalties and interest are the epitome of negative EV; don’t even risk it,” as VerStandig put it.

As a practice, it’s important to be prepared to deal with situations pertaining to tax implications. Big tournaments and bigger wins come with a substantial give away to the government. Kondler says, “Be prepared for the ‘big score’ before it happens. Make sure you have any backing agreements solidified and are aware of the ramifications of the winnings.”

Kondler also advises on using deductions, including retirement contributions, when writing off losses and expenses, without being over creative.

VerStanding warns against using losing tickets from sports bets and tournament receipts for filing at the end of the year as the IRS is increasingly vigilant on these acts.

Clearly, Verstanding and Kondler emphasize on seeking professional help instead of experimenting with too many things at one go.

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