Italian Revenue Agency Cracks Down on Professional Online Poker Players, Local Tax Cheats

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Italian Revenue Agency Online Poker

The Italian Revenue Agency has reportedly begun cracking down on poker pros who have entered into sponsorship deals.

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The Italian Revenue Agency and the Guardia di Finanza, the financial police, are taking action, aptly codenamed “All In”, over the taxable earnings of poker players on offshore media, such as dedicated television channels.

The agency had sent out letters to professional poker players earlier in the year requesting information on their winnings, sponsorship deals and income derived from image rights and royalties. 

The current action looks to obtain information on the winnings of all Italian residents regularly playing poker (normally, it is said, “Texas Hold’em”), on offshore live media, such as dedicated television channels. After an initial analysis, it has been discovered that more than 4,000 players have been lucky there, and have made almost USD100m, without declaring this income on their tax returns to the Revenue Agency.

In particular, Italian taxpayers who obtained winnings between 2006 and 2009 are currently under the Revenue Agency and Guardia’s microscope. Those players, who have been traced, are invited to go to their local tax or Guardia office to explain if they have “forgotten” to declare their earnings on their annual tax returns.

The agency noted that it is “relatively easy” for Italian “tax cheats” to be identified and located. 

The Agency also “intends to increase the tax compliance of those players who have operated under the mistaken belief that the tax liability of their overseas winnings could be considered to be a ‘grey area’”.

- Aaron Goldstein,

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