Canada Revenue Agency Seeks $1.2M in Taxes from WSOP Champion

The tax agency in Canada is seeking unpaid taxes from the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2010 Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel. The agency seeks some $1.2 million in taxes while Mr. Duhamel claims that he doesn’t need to pay taxes since the funds were obtained from games of chance.

CRA Seeks Unpaid Taxes from WSOP Champion Jonathan Duhamel

The Canada Revenue Agency is going after the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel over allegedly unpaid taxes for the period 2010-2012. As announced by La Presse last week, the Canadian taxman is seeking $1.2 million (USD $907,000) in allegedly unpaid taxes from Duhamel. Back in 2010, Mr. Duhamel became famous for winning the WSOP tournament. His win was $8.9 million. Although Mr. Duhamel paid his taxes to the IRS in the United States, he never paid the CRA in Canada because the games of chance are not taxable in the country.

However, the CRA rejects the statement that Mr. Duhamel doesn’t need to pay taxes by saying that he acted as a “professional poker” player who by playing allegedly conducted “business”. In an effort to receive the allegedly unpaid taxes, the CRA may choose to take this to Revenu Quebec court. Furthermore, the CRA revealed additional arguments supporting its position, saying that when Mr. Duhamel was playing poker he behaved similarly to a “serious businessman“.

Mr. Duhamel Claims That the Winnings Were Result of Chance

Rejecting the CRA claims, Mr. Duhamel argued that his income was the result of playing games of chance, making his winnings “result of chance”. The WSOP champion added that he hasn’t been through any type of specialized poker game training. Acknowledging that he became famous by winning the WSOP tournament in 2010, Mr. Duhamel claimed that whenever he played poker, he never used any system, which would automatically allow him to win. He added that all of his tournament wins are the result of playing a game of chance.

With that in mind, additional arguments which the CRA outlined included that Mr. Duhamel’s occupation since 2008 was a poker player. Furthermore, the CRA added that the WSOP 2010 champion’s primary income came from playing poker as he “devoted an average of 40 to 50 hours per week to poker“.

Moreover, the CRA claimed that when Mr. Duhamel was playing online, he may have participated in multiple poker games at the same time. Another argument which the CRA raised to defend its position is that Mr. Duhamel had significant mathematical skills. He allegedly used these mathematical skills to determine his chances of winning, the CRA added.

1 Comment

  • inTAXicating
    November 10, 2020 at 2:02 am

    His argument holds except for the fact it’s what he does to earn a living. This is taxable. If he paid it in the US he just needs to prove it, and CRA walks away. Interesting posturing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *