How To Write Off Gambling Winnings On Taxes



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  1. How To Write Off Gambling Winnings On Taxes Owed
  2. How To Write Off Gambling Winnings On Taxes Without

You can write off gambling losses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, as stated in a report on www.piramindwelt.com. While miscellaneous deductions subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income floor are not allowed for 2018 through 2025 under the TCJA, the deduction for gambling losses isn’t subject to that floor. Since a federal court ruling two years ago, there are tax deductions for professional gamblers similar to those for self employed contractors and small businesses. Expenses like travel, meals, and lodging can be cut from their total income.

For example, suppose you reported $13,000 in gambling winnings on Line 21 of Form 1040. Even if you lost $100,000 that year, your gambling loss deduction is limited to $13,000.

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This article was fact-checked by our editors and reviewed by Christina Taylor, MBA, senior manager of tax operations for Credit Karma Tax®.

Betting on sports is part of the fun for many sports fans — even if their wagering hasn’t always been technically legal.

Until a May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the door for every state to legalize sports betting, just four states allowed wagering on sports — Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. Legality, however, hasn’t stopped Americans from betting on sports. In fact, the American Gaming Association estimates that Americans spend more than $150 billion a year on illegal sports betting.

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi and Rhode Island have legalized sports betting. And at least 14 other states are considering laws to permit wagering on sports.

But when you gamble on sports, it won’t matter to the IRS if your winnings came from a legal bet or from one that’s off the books. Your winnings are taxable income either way.

If you plan to do some wagering in a state that’s legalized sports betting, it’s important to understand how tax on your winnings will work. Let’s take a look at how the IRS treats gambling winnings of any kind.

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Sports-betting winnings are taxable income

The big question for sports gamblers: Are your winnings taxable income? As we said above, the answer is yes.

“Gambling winnings are fully taxable and you must report the income on your tax return,” the IRS says. “Gambling income includes but isn’t limited to winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse races and casinos. It includes cash winnings and the fair market value of prizes, such as cars and trips.”

Although sports betting isn’t one of the examples, it’s still covered by “gambling winnings.”

Whether sports betting is legal in the state where you place your bet doesn’t matter to the IRS. If you win, you have taxable income, which should be reported when you file your tax return.

These rules apply only to casual sports bettors. If you’re a pro — “in the trade or business of gambling,” as the IRS puts it — different rules apply.

How much tax you’ll owe depends on your personal tax situation and tax bracket.

You might also owe state income tax on any money you win from betting on sports, depending on which state you live in. For example, Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax. But Maryland does, and it considers winnings from gambling taxable income. If you win money betting on sports, check with your state to see if it taxes gambling winnings.

What types of income are taxable?

Form W-2G: Evidence of your sports-betting win

So you win a couple thousand bucks betting on your favorite sports team. How will the IRS know if you don’t tell it? Well, whomever you won the money from — a casino, racetrack, etc. — is supposed to report your winnings to the IRS on Form W-2G. The form tells the IRS some important information, including …

  • Contact information for the payer who awarded you the winnings, including phone number, address and federal tax identification number
  • Your name, address and taxpayer identification number
  • How much you won
  • When you won it
  • What kind of wager you made
  • And how much, if any, federal and state income tax the payer withheld from your winnings

Generally, the payer has to report your winnings if …

  • You won $1,200 or more from a bingo game or slot machine
  • You raked in $1,500 or more at keno
  • Your poker victory tops $5,000
  • You won $600 or more and your winnings are at least 300 times the amount of your bet (bingo, slots, keno and poker are exceptions to this rule)
  • The payor withheld federal income tax on the winnings

Penalties for not reporting sports-betting income

Of course, the IRS wants you to report all your taxable income, and if you don’t you could face penalties and interest on any tax you owed but didn’t pay.

Generally, the penalty for not paying income tax that you owe is 0.5% of the unpaid tax. That rate is assessed monthly until you pay the tax you owe. Unpaid tax and penalties typically accrue interest, too — 5% compounded daily from the due date of your tax return to the date when you actually pay in full the balance of any tax, penalties and interest you owe.

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How To Write Off Gambling Winnings On Taxes Owed

However, if you’re caught intentionally omitting income — like gambling winnings — from your tax return in order to avoid paying tax on that income, it could mean additional penalties. According to the tax code, trying to “evade or defeat” tax you owe on income you’re required to report could be a felony with fines of up to $100,000 for individuals or five years in prison. Plus, people convicted of tax evasion can be held responsible for the costs of prosecution.

How To Write Off Gambling Winnings On Taxes Without

What should you do if you can't pay your taxes?

Lose a sports bet? It might be deductible!

Just as sports-betting winnings are considered taxable income, losses may be tax-deductible if …

  • You itemize your deductions
  • You keep detailed records of your winnings and losses
Off

“To deduct your losses, you must keep an accurate diary or similar record of your gambling winnings and losses and be able to provide receipts, tickets, statements or other records that show the amount of both your winnings and losses,” the IRS says.

Any losses you deduct cannot exceed winnings that you report when you file your return. For example, if you reported winnings of $5,000, you could deduct losses only up to that amount. Additional losses would not be deductible. And if you lost $5,000 but didn’t win anything, you wouldn’t be able to deduct those losses at all.

If you’re eligible to deduct your sports-betting losses — or any other gambling losses — you’ll do so on Schedule A, Line 28, “Other Miscellaneous Deductions.”

Bottom line

More than a quarter of Americans like to bet on football, 21% are interested in betting on baseball or basketball, and 20% would put some money down on a hockey game, according to Nielsen Sports. If you’re a fan of sports wagering, it’s important to understand that tax on sports betting is nothing new.

The IRS has always considered gambling winnings taxable income, and it expects you to report all your taxable income — even the money you win betting on sports.

If you’ll be reporting gambling winnings on your federal income tax return, or hoping to write off some gambling losses, be sure to keep detailed records of your wagers and losses.

Christina Taylor is senior manager of tax operations for Credit Karma Tax®. She has more than a dozen years of experience in tax, accounting and business operations. Christina founded her own accounting consultancy and managed it for more than six years. She co-developed an online DIY tax-preparation product, serving as chief operating officer for seven years. She is the current treasurer of the National Association of Computerized Tax Processors and holds a bachelor’s in business administration/accounting from Baker College and an MBA from Meredith College. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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How To Write Off Gambling Winnings On Taxes

Play your tax cards right with gambling wins and losses

If you are gambling on sites such as vera & john SV which are safe and friendly then you have nothing to worry, but if you gamble at casinos, be sure you understand the tax consequences. The number of poker sets which are an indicative of both wins and losses can affect your income tax bill. And changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could also have an impact.

Wins and taxable income

You must report 100% of your gambling winnings gotten at sites like cozino.com as taxable income. The value of complimentary goodies (“comps”) provided by gambling establishments must also be included in taxable income as winnings.

Winnings are subject to your regular federal income tax rate. You might pay a lower rate on gambling winnings this year because of rate reductions under the TCJA.

Amounts you win may be reported to you on IRS Form W-2G (“Certain Gambling Winnings”). In some cases, federal income tax may be withheld, too. Anytime a Form W-2G is issued, the IRS gets a copy. So if you’ve received such a form, remember that the IRS will expect to see the winnings on your tax return.

Losses and tax deductions

You can write off gambling losses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, as stated in a report on www.piramindwelt.com. While miscellaneous deductions subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income floor are not allowed for 2018 through 2025 under the TCJA, the deduction for gambling losses isn’t subject to that floor. So gambling losses are still deductible.

But the TCJA’s near doubling of the standard deduction for 2018 (to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, $18,000 for heads of households and $12,000 for singles and separate filers) means that, even if you typically itemized deductions in the past, you may no longer benefit from itemizing. Itemizing saves tax only when total itemized deductions exceed the applicable standard deduction.

Also be aware that the deduction for gambling losses is limited to your winnings for the year, and any excess losses cannot be carried forward to future years. Also, out-of-pocket expenses for transportation, meals, lodging and so forth can’t be deducted unless you qualify as a gambling professional.

And, for 2018 through 2025, the TCJA modifies the limit on gambling losses for professional gamblers so that all deductions for expenses incurred in carrying out gambling activities, not just losses, are limited to the extent of gambling winnings.

Tracking your activities

To claim a deduction for gambling losses, you must adequately document them, including:

  1. The date and type of gambling activity.
  2. The name and address or location of the gambling establishment.
  3. The names of other persons (if any) present with you at the gambling establishment. (Obviously, this is not possible when the gambling occurs at a public venue such as a casino, race track, or bingo parlor.)
  4. The amount won or lost.

You can document income and losses from gambling on table games by recording the number of the table you played and keeping statements showing casino credit issued to you. For lotteries, you can use winning statements and unredeemed tickets as documentation.

Please contact us if you have questions or want more information about the tax treatment of gambling wins and losses.