WSOP main event first runner-up Felix Stephensen has to pay half of his winnings in taxes at home in Norway.
Second place winner of the World Series Of Poker, Felix Stephensen, has to pay tax bill on his $5,147,911 winnings, which would amount to roughly half that sum. This is in keeping with the Norwegian gambling laws whereby all poker-related individual prizes of more than NOK 1,000 are taxable.
Stephensen, who has made London his home for the past two years, is a registered professional poker player. He is a familiar face at poker sites around the world and naturally Norwegian poker rooms. It is with pride that he managed to gain the runner-up spot after being eliminated from the WSOP main event.
Although he lives abroad, Stephensen still continues to pay taxes in his native land. This is because Norway imposes a three-year commitment, on all self-employed Norwegian citizens living outside of Norway, to pay taxes at home.
Therefore, Stephensen has to fork over a whopping 50.4 percent of his prize money, to the Norwegian government. Luckily, Social security contributions are also included in the tax bill.
Normally a Norwegian citizen would only pay 27%. However, Stephensen has to pay almost twice the amount because he is in a higher-income earning group, explains one Norwegian Tax expert.
Nevertheless, Stephensen can still expect to have some of his $5 million prize money back. Like all self-employed Norwegians, he will benefit from tax deductions on earnings, based on job-related expenses incurred.