Swedish online poker players received a letter from the Skatteverket, the Swedish Tax Authority this week. The authority informed them that they are looking for information about their poker winnings from 2008-2011.
The tax office letters inquire specifically about the winnings that came from non-EU poker sites. The letter specifically names Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute and Bodog Poker.
According to Swedish gambling laws, winnings from companies that operate outside of the EU are subject to 30% tax. However, winnings from companies within the EU are not taxable.
The taxes could be huge for Swedish poker stars such as Viktor Blom (Isildur1), Erik Friberg (lirarerik) and William Thorson, who each made a healthy sum playing at Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars.
The tax office is also targeting thousands of small online poker players who played at these sites between 2008 and 2011.
They are asking online poker players to supply they nicknames. Once they have the screen names, they can cross-reference the names against data gleaned from various data mining sites to see if what the players claim to have won coincides with the information from the data mining sites.
Swedish Tax Authority used data mining sites to identify poker winners. These sites store and sell data on player hands, play style as well as casino winnings and losses.
The Swedish Tax Authority can easily gather information on players that have not paid their gambling taxes on their non-EU poker winnings.
Switch to an anonymous poker site is a solution to prevent situation like this, as it is impossible for data miners to extract game history from such an operator.
With the absence of this pilfered data, it would be next to impossible for the tax authorities to find out about any of the Bodog poker player’s winnings and they would have next to no evidence to present in any subsequent court proceedings on tax evasion.