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Online poker players ask to be taxed

Taxes are something that most California and United States citizens don't like to pay and wish they could put a stop to. However, one group of individuals recently took to the nation's capital asking to be taxed. Confused? Well, the group was made up of online poker advocates who are asking that the industry be taxed and regulated rather than considered illegal.

The demonstration came after the federal government cracked down recently on online poker companies for violating the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which makes it a crime to knowingly accept payments in the United States in connection with prohibited Internet gambling.

In fact, the United States Attorney's office in New York recently took down the big wigs at three of the biggest Internet poker companies in the business.

A total 11 founders and executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were indicted last month and now face charges including bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling. The feds seized a total of five domain names used by the companies to operate some of the Internet's most popular poker sites.

This recent crackdown is in addition to several other indictments and website seizures that have been made recently across the county and United States territories. Many bank accounts have been seized as well.

But poker advocates who participated in the rally at the capital, which was organized by the Poker Players Alliance, argue that rather than prohibiting people from playing online poker, the government should accept it as an honest way of earning a living.

Two lawmakers who support online poker spoke at the rally and reported that they are both working on bills that would regulate and tax the industry, thereby making it legal.

"We're hoping we'll have some good legislative news for you folks later this session of Congress," one representative said.

Orange County tax attorneys remind all their clients that American taxpayers must report any income that they make through online poker on their tax returns as it is still considered income.

Source: USA Today, "Online poker advocates demonstrate on Capitol Hill," Gary Mihoces, 5/24/2011.

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