As I write this I am 40 minutes outside of
Fortunately for all of you I’ve saved up some good stories to write about during the break. Hopefully I’ll have time to post a few of them so everyone can have something interesting to read during the holidays. If not, for once I’ll apologize in advance of being lazy…
I just finished a second reading of How to Turn Your Poker Playing into a Business by Ann-Margaret Johnson. For anybody aspiring to turn this game into more than a hobby (or simply to avoid getting in trouble with Uncle Sam), I strongly suggest this book. It’s written in language anybody can understand, provides examples, and can be finished in a 2 hour flight. The book goes through a lot of topics, the first of which is how you can determine if you’re a “professional” or merely a “hobbyist”. The primary distinction appears to be “Do you do anything else?”. In my case the answer is most definitively no, which seems to qualify me to file as a professional in the calendar year 2009. As such, I have generated a check/list of stuff that needs to happen in the next few weeks to make sure I get off the ground on the right foot:
1. Find out if I can deduct meals? Sounds like no.
2. Open separate banking account with Etrade.
3. Write business plan.
4. Get/convert a credit card for business use.
5. Transfer health insurance to said credit card.
6. Transfer cell phone bill to said credit card.
7. Create milage log. Use "mileage method" for any trips.
8. Open SEP IRA
I’ve actually already written the business plan (it’s only a page long), the purpose of which is to fight back in case I somehow manage to get audited. Most of the other points deal with the advantages of filing as a pro, namely the ability to write off expenses, effectively paying for them with income before it gets taxed (this in turn lowers your Adjusted Gross Income, which is directly correlated to how much you owe the IRS on April 15th…which coincidentally happens to be my birthday).
I have two or three more days to play this year, and I’m going to generate a poker income somewhere in the region of $50,000. By reporting this income to the IRS, I’m basically being a “good citizen” and writing a five-figure check to bail out
As a final note, this Christmas I am going to explain all of this to my parents. They are probably going to go batshit, but as per the previous paragraph there really isn’t anything they can do about it. They haven’t written a tuition check since my 6th semester (of 10), which was in the Spring of 2003, practically (gulp) 6 years ago. Has it really been that long? Hayah!!!