Spanish Chess Master in Shock After Receiving €500K Poker Tax Bill

Picture courtesy: Przemysław Jahr / Wikimedia

Francisco Vallejo Pons, better known as a world-class chess player, has gone public with his online poker story after running into problems with the Spanish tax authority.

According to several sources close to the situation, Vallejo won over €1,000,000 playing online poker in 2011, but then proceeded to lose all back to net a small loss overall for the year. Despite ending the year with a small loss, the Spanish tax authority is now trying to collect more than €500,000 in taxes from him:

"We go back to the year 2011. I play some online poker, for fun, I'm not a gambler by any means. I lost everything, a few thousand and I stopped playing. Then I stopped. In 2016 I received a letter from the Spanish tax authority requesting more than six figures! More than half a million euros because I played poker and I lost. It seems a macabre joke, but it is not, from that moment begins a snowball that crushes you," Vallejo explained on his personal Facebook page last week.

Indeed, the Spanish tax law for online poker in 2011 was quite a weird one, to say the least. While the old tax law for online poker ceased to exist in 2012, Vallejo's "winnings" still fell under the old law, where any online "gambling" winnings were subject to 47 percent taxes, while any losses couldn't be deducted.

The stressful situation has resulted Vallejo to take a break from the international Chess scene as he still tries to get the ruling overturned.


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