Poker players in Spain will have nowhere to hide it seems as the government’s tax office is investigating all live tournament poker players since 2010 to discover if they have paid taxes on their winnings. They have gone as far as checking all of their tax records against all live tournament results which can easily be found on database sites such as the Hendon Mob.
Apparently, the Spanish Treasury has already found out about three players and has cited them, though the names of those players have not been revealed.
The most successful live tournament player in Spain is easily Carlos Mortensen, with him being a former WSOP Main Event winner. He has career earnings of $10,811,436 and stands head and shoulders above anyone else in Spain. Next in line is Raul Paez Corral who has taken down career winnings of $1,666,245 from live tournaments whilst the only other player to have won more than a million being Juan Maceiras Lapido, as he has earned $1,082,049.
Not Only Live Players Should Worry!
It may only be live players that are being investigated right now; yet online players should certainly not rest on their laurels. This is because all players have to report the income, whether they play live, online or even both. These earnings are then calculated to reveal how much tax each player is meant to pay on them.
When online poker was first permitted in Spain, the tax issues were very confusing for players, whilst they were also very unreasonable. Players were initially confused as to how they should report their income, with the process initially not allowing players to deduct any losses from their winnings, and they were also not permitted to subtract any deposits made to the poker sites from their withdrawals made.
This has now changed this year however, meaning that losses can now in fact be deducted from winnings. Players are still not entirely happy with the system however and feel that it would be a lot easier to put the taxes to the hosts of the poker tournaments or the online poker sites, rather than on each individual player.
That technique is used with many of Spain’s European neighbors, meaning the players are still in fact being taxed on their earnings; just they are being taxed before they receive their winnings instead of having to go through the whole declaration process themselves.
Of course, we feel that if a player is meant to pay taxes, they should do what they are meant to do and pay them.