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When I'm looking for WSOP 2012 results payout structure, why some players paid taxes and some of them doesn't? Is their goverment getting this money from them? Is it about being illegal in their country?

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Poor merson, 3.7M tax. – Soner Gönül Dec 18 '12 at 22:16
up vote 5 down vote accepted

These are due to IRS regulations, and it isn't taxes paid, just withheld. The players must declare this money as income, less any deductions, to the IRS and then they can have the difference returned to them. For professional players, if they had losses and expenses to offset some of these winnings, they might get quite a lot of it back - even all of it. That's between them and their accountant and the IRS, the casino is just required to withhold that money.

Some countries have tax treaties with the United States and there is no withholding. That is why some players show no tax - but they still have to declare these winnings in their home country and pay taxes there, the casino just isn't required to withhold anything.

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In a number of countries, as long as playing poker isn't your profession, you don't have to pay taxes on it. The US is not one of these, obviously. – Jacob G Dec 19 '12 at 1:20
@jacob - right, and if you are from one of those countries you can get this withholding returned to you as well, you just need documentation from your country etc. – wilfra Dec 19 '12 at 6:10
@wilfra Are you absolutely sure that there are witholdings for non-Americans? I would guess that no part of the prize are withheld from non-Americans, tax treaty or no tax treaty: the countries those players come from have no legal standing and no legal power over US casinos. – mobius dumpling Apr 17 '14 at 12:54
@mobiusdumpling i'm absolutely sure as of a few years ago, but I haven't played the WSOP recently so it's possible things have changed. – wilfra Apr 18 '14 at 3:03
@wilfra Thanks! I guess it's the long arm of the law of world governments. Seems insane to me. It also means that the EV of playing the WSOP main event is negative even for top-level players, unless they live in a country that taxes gambling winnings very lightly: seeing as most of your EV in big-field tournaments comes from the times you win top prizes, I'd guess that the fact that these prizes are taxed totally kills everyone's EV. – mobius dumpling Apr 18 '14 at 7:03

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