Ben Cain has always enjoyed the buzz of the casino, completing his croupier training at a relatively young age. After a lengthy career working at casinos on various cruise ships, he traded a life on the sea for a life as an editor in 2018. Now, he’s using the knowledge he picked up as a croupier to provide the best casino & betting strategy tips around.
Is Casino Money Taxed? Read our Guide on Casino Taxes on Winnings
This article will examine taxes on gambling winnings in the US. Due to the varied gambling winning tax rates and laws in the US, this topic appears to be complicated.
However, it’s actually very simple: all online gambling winnings are taxable. The following guide will explain how to ensure that you’re filing your taxes correctly.
A Quick Look at How to Report Your Gambling Winnings
Firstly, you must report all of your online gambling winnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), regardless of how big or small they may be. This is a simple process; all you have to do is fill out a W2-G form available on the IRS website.
Whilst the federal gambling winning tax rate remains the same throughout the US, individual states have different tax rates. Make sure that you’re aware of the specific laws and tax rates of the State in which you’re gambling to ensure you’re reporting your winnings correctly.
It’s crucial that you report all of your online gambling winnings; if the government discovers any unreported income, you would have to pay tax, penalties and be fined. In the worst-case scenario, if the IRS considered that you had willfully evaded tax, you could even face imprisonment.
As stated previously, it’s vital that you file your online earnings for gambling winning tax purposes. Consequently, it’s important that you keep a record of all of your gambling results, as this has several benefits.
Firstly, keeping track of all your gambling records allows you to deduct losses amounting to the same as your reported winnings. However, this requires that you are able to provide receipts, tickets and statements, or any other documentation that displays the amount of both your losses and winnings.
Secondly, online casinos will only report casino winnings of over $1,200 for any video poker winnings or slot machine win, for which you should receive a W2-G form. Furthermore, online casinos will also not report casino winnings on table games except if you win $600 or above and 300x your wager. For more information on how to win at casino slots take a look at our corresponding guide.
Thus, if you want to benefit from the tax deduction on losses, it’s essential to keep a file of all your online casino winnings, even those that aren’t reported by online casinos. Check out GamblingGuy for a US online casino guide.
Reporting Your Winnings – Key Winnings Levels
Many people wonder how does betting work, but few stop to ask how gambling winning tax works. Even though all gambling winnings require federal taxation, payers only need to provide a W2-G form if they win any of the following:
$600 or more if the amount is no less than 300x your wager; $1,200 or over from bingo or slot machines; $1,500 or more in Keno winnings; over $500 in poker tournament winnings or any winnings that are subject to a federal-income tax withholding requirement.
If you provide the payer with your tax ID number, then they will withhold 25% of your winnings for gambling winning tax purposes. However, if you’re unable to give them this information, the gambling tax figure rises to 28% of your winnings.
Given that the payer will not do it for you, you must keep a record of your smaller winnings; otherwise, your gambling and taxes will become very difficult to keep on top of.
Do I Have to Report Winnings From ‘Offshore’ Gambling Sites?
Many people believe that gambling winning tax doesn’t apply to offshore sites because they are overseas, but they’re entirely wrong. The US tax code dictates that all income for US citizens is taxable, regardless of where it came from.
As a result, gambling winning tax applies to all winnings, including those acquired on both domestic and overseas websites. Offshore casinos will not report winnings to the IRS, so you must make a record of any such activity to abide by US gambling winning tax regulations. To help with your offshore betting, have a look at GamblingGuy’s best betting strategy for UK operators.
Professional Gambler Status – Advantages & Disadvantages
For some gamblers, it’s cheaper to be an amateur, rather than a professional, due to the differing gambling winning tax that is applied. Others, however, may benefit from gaining professional gambler status, which could actually reduce the gambling winning tax that they have to pay.
You should base this decision on your gambling skill, but there are also tax implications to consider. The professional gambler tax has greater deductions that can be applied to winnings. For example, they can deduct expenses such as travel, accommodation and food, which would seem to be a clear advantage. To improve your gambling skill, take a look at GamblingGuy’s guide on the best slot machines to play.
However, they also have to pay a self-employment tax, which the casual gambler doesn’t and they face scrutiny concerning their status. Previously, the IRS has contested some taxpayer’s professional status, and have rejected such status for other gamblers who hold separate businesses. Whilst this is something to consider, you should speak to a tax advisor before coming to any final decision.
Taxation Rules – State Variations
In addition, some States do not charge any gambling winning tax whatsoever. Though this may sound confusing, all of the relevant information regarding online gambling winning tax can be found easily on the internet and is clearly explained.
If you’re a young gambler, it’s also important to know the gambling legal age of the relevant State. The minimum gambling age varies from 18 to 21 depending on the State.
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Conclusion – All the Taxation Basics YOU Need to Know!
In order to avoid any potential mishaps, here are 3 takeaways that will prevent any problems that you may have with gambling tax. Firstly, remember that all online gambling winnings are taxable, so you must report all winnings, even those that online casinos don’t provide a W2-G form for.
Secondly, to make sure that you’re able to report all winnings, keep verifiable records of all your gambling to guarantee you file your gambling tax report correctly. Finally, be aware of the relevant state gambling winning tax laws as well as those of the federal government to make certain that you’re abiding by both.
If you follow these 3 steps when it comes to tax on gambling winnings, then you’ll be able to enjoy your winnings without any accompanying problems.