A new requirement of the IRS may oblige international poker players who win prize money in the US to pay more than 30% to the authority.
The current state of affairs allows foreigners from certain countries which have a tax treaty with the US to bypass the 30% federal tax on winnings over $5,000 which applies to US nationals.
Casino operators have so far issued an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for tax purposes to anybody who does not have a Social Security Number (SSN). However, the IRS has claimed monopoly right on ITINs on the basis of a decision by Congress and a clause in the PATH Act (legislation fighting against tax fraud), which, if enforced, will ban casinos from supplying ITINs to players.
The situation would mean increased difficulties for players to obtain an ITIN as well as reduced earnings for those who fail to secure such a number.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has stated it is still eligible to issue ITINs so that prize winnings at this year’s edition of the tournament will not be affected.