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Play now!If you are a professional poker player then you got some good news recently when it was announced that business expenses can now be deducted on your tax return. Professional players can now deduct things like travel and lodging expenses. The courts made a ruling recently and for once, poker players actually came out on top.

Change in the Law
The change in the law comes as a result of a case where a horse bettor listed his wins, losses and expenses. The court ruled that the expenses which included travel and fees for handicapping information was a business expense and not part of his losses. Professional gamblers can now go back three years and make changes to their tax returns. In the past the expenses were only deductible up to the amount won by the player. It is important to note that the ruling only benefits those who are really professional gamblers. That means a person must be getting most of their income from gambling. The IRS has said that they will look at each case individually to see if the expenses are legitimate and legal under the law and if the player is really a professional gambler.

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Poker players will be able to write off expenses like the cost of flights to tournaments, hotel room charges, meals, car rentals, gas, etc. For a professional player who travels a lot this is a huge deal. There are some poker tours that hold events all over the world. When a player files his tax return for this year he will use Schedule C and tabulate the expenses for the tax year.

Gambling and Poker a Profession?
What the ruling also did was make a case for gambling and for poker being a profession. If a poker player can deduct expenses for travel, lodging, etc, then he is no different than any other business professional. This ruling may also give credence to poker being a game of skill and not a game of chance. Poker players who are consistently wagering money and making their living off the game are now considered professionals by the IRS. The ruling by the courts is just another positive for poker players as they look to establish themselves as professionals.


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