Taxes on Casino Winnings in America - Useful Tips

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

The gambling market in America is expanding. New casinos and sports books are opening around the country, Las Vegas is well-liked, lotteries are booming, and online gambling is huge. If you prefer gambling, there are undoubtedly many options to place a bet. But keep in mind that the state also wants a piece of whatever money you gain from a wise bet. Here are some useful tips for you not to get into trouble with the tax office. And if you want to maximize your wins, even considering taxes, visit this site and enjoy the best bonus deals. 

You Are Required to Report All Winnings 

All gambling winnings, whether $5 or $5,000, must be declared as "other income" on Schedule 1 (Form 1040) of your tax return. As income, report the fair market value of any non-cash prizes you receive, such as a car or vacation. 

Additionally, you need to disclose all of your earnings from gaming. Report $500 if you’ve won such a sum.  

You Could Receive a Form W-2G 

If your gambling wins total at least $600 and the payoff is at least 300 times what you bet, you'll often get an IRS Form W-2G. The criteria are $1,200 for bingo or slot machine earnings, $1,500 for keno winnings, and $5,000 for winnings from poker tournaments (however, the payout for these prizes does not need to be 300x the wager). Box 1 of the W-2G form will contain a list of your reportable wins. 

When a W-2G is necessary, the player must provide two identification pieces. There must be a picture of the ID among them. Additionally, you will be required to supply your Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number if you have one. 

Occasionally, you'll receive the W-2G right away. If not, the payer (a casino or sportsbook) must give you the paperwork before January 31 of the upcoming year. However, don't bank on it if your gamble was only a casual wager with a buddy or you triumphed in a workplace pool. 

Withholding May Be Necessary 

Generally speaking, if you win over 5,000 dollars on a wager and the payout exceeds your wager by at least 300 times, the IRS compels the payer to withhold 24% of your profits for income taxes. Special withholding regulations apply to profits from keno, poker tournaments, bingo, and slots. Box 4 of the W-2G form you will get will have a list of the amount withheld. Under penalty of perjury, you must also sign the W-2G certifying that the data on the form is accurate. 

Your Losses May Be Recoverable 

Did you choose the incorrect horse to win at the racetrack or have a poor night at the blackjack table? Your losses from gaming can be deductible! 

Losses from gambling include both the actual amount wagered and any associated costs, including travel to and from a casino or other gaming institution. However, there are a few significant caveats. First, to deduct gambling losses unless you're a professional gambler, you must itemize (itemized deductions are claimed on Schedule A). Sadly, the majority of folks don't itemize. As a result, if you use the standard deduction, you lose twice: once for losing your wager and once for being unable to deduct your gambling losses. 

Second, losses from gambling that exceed the earnings you declare on your tax return cannot be deducted. You can only deduct the first $100 of losses, for instance if you won $100 on one wager but lost $300 on a few others. You cannot deduct any losses if you have zero gambling winnings for the whole year due to bad luck. 

You do not have to itemize to deduct your losses as business expenditures on Schedule C if you are a professional gambler. A word of caution, though: only if your primary goal is to generate a profit and you engage in the activity continuously and routinely can you qualify it as a business. Sporadic pursuits or pastimes are not considered to be businesses. 

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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