The Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act

20 June 2011

In a letter after our Constitution was established Ben Franklin wrote”… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well over 200 years later, this still seems to be the standard. The Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, H.R. 2230 was introduced Thursday that will require online gambling companies to withhold taxes from net winnings. Which is acceptable except online gambling is still illegal in the United States.

This bill will not even legalize online gambling; just provide a tax structure for it if it ever becomes legal. H.R. 2230, which was introduced by Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also proposes a 2 percent federal tax on the Internet gambling providers, and gives the states an option of taxing these same companies at 6% as well as the player’s tax on the winnings.

The internet gambling companies, according to this bill, would be required to provide the names, address and tax ID numbers of all its U.S. players to the government. Other information they will have to provide is gross winnings, gross wagers and gross losses on each person for every calendar year, and the amount of tax withheld on these winnings as well as tell the government how much has been deposited and withdrawn during the calendar year.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and the aforementioned John Campbell (R-Calif.), and Barney Frank (D-Mass.)all are considering proposing a bill that would legalize online gambling or in Barton’s case just online poker sometime this year. Having a tax structure in place may help so others in Congress could actually see the money that could be generated.

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