Explaining the remission process for Full Tilt players

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 05, 2012 Posted in Legal Poker News, US Poker News | No Comments »

After last week’s announcement that PokerStars had settled with Department of Justice and purchased their longtime rival Full Tilt Poker, the first question every player wanted answered was “when will we get our money?” For non-US players the answer was quite simple, as they will have access to their Full Tilt poker accounts within 90 days of the deal’s announcement.

For US players the process may take a bit longer, and is far more complicated, as US players at Full Tilt Poker will have to file a remission claim. So what exactly is a remission claim?

What is a Remission?

Remissions are used in cases of civil asset forfeitures, allowing victims or unwitting owners/debtors to reclaim their losses –“Restoration” is used in criminal cases but is basically the same as a remission in terms of payments. Fortunately, once assets are forfeited the repayment process usually happens very quickly, and experts like Russ Fox feel players will start to receive their funds by Christmas.

However, there is also a downside to the remission process as it entails a good amount of paperwork and the divulging of personal information (to insure that the person is in fact a victim and that they are who they say they are) like Social Security numbers and Tax ID information.

Here is a look at a standard remission form used by the government: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/afmls/forms/pdf/model-remission.pdf

As you can see, there are three reasons a person could be seeking a remission:

* a victim of the crime underlying the forfeiture of the forfeited property, or related offense (complete Sections I, III, and V);

* an owner of the forfeited property (complete Sections I, II and V); and/or

* a lienholder of the forfeited property (complete Sections I, II, and V)

And in addition to filling in your personal information and deciphering which of the three groups above you fall into (you can actually fall into more than one) you’ll also have to explain your case to the government who will then decide if you qualify for a payout.

How does the Remission Process Work?

Typically, once the remission process begins all known victims will be contacted via mail, but anyone can file a remission form, although you will have to make you case. Here is a quick overview of the Remission/Restoration process: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nyw/zaveri/victimsbrochure.pdf

Fortunately for Full Tilt Poker players the government is almost assuredly in possession of your current account balance, so as long as your ducks are in a row (probably regretting using the phony name or address now aren’t you?) the process should be rather painless.

What about Taxes?

One other area of concern is the tax implications, and the amount of scrutiny players will draw from the IRS. You should go into this process assuming the IRS will receive all of the information regarding your Full Tilt Poker account, and it’s highly likely that all payments over $600 will come complete with a 1099 tax form. You can read more on the tax issues surrounding the Full Tilt Poker payments here: http://pokernewsboy.com/online-poker-news/will-my-full-tilt-poker-money-be-taxed/12858


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