updated 10/19/2007 11:42:15 AM ET 2007-10-19T15:42:15

They're not bluffing: Tax collectors will start requiring poker tournaments to report the winners' take.

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Casinos and other sponsors of poker tournaments will be required to report winnings of more than $5,000 to the Internal Revenue Service beginning March 4, 2008, the tax agency said Friday.

Sponsors who meet the reporting requirement won't need to withhold federal income tax at the end of a tournament, it said.

If a sponsor does not report winnings, it is responsible for withholding the taxes and sending the money to the IRS, normally 25 percent of the amount subject to reporting.

The IRS said poker tournament winners must provide their taxpayer identification number, usually a Social Security number, to the sponsor. If the winner fails to do so, the sponsor must withhold federal income at a rate of 28 percent.

Casinos and sponsors of tournaments completed before March 4 next year will not be required to report winnings to the IRS or withhold tax.

By law, the winners already must report poker earnings on their federal income tax returns.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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