Gambling Winnings And Losses Income Tax

You can’t deduct the cost of your wager from your winnings when determining how much you won, but you can deduct your gambling losses subject to certain rules. You must itemize your deductions to claim your gambling losses as a tax deduction. “Taxpayers can deduct gambling losses only up to the amount of their gambling winnings,” says Leddy, “and only if they itemize their deductions.” For example, if your gambling winnings totaled $5,000 in the tax year, but you lost $6,000, you can only deduct $5,000 of those losses.

Do you like to gamble? Do you ever win? If the answers to these questions are 'yes,' you need to know about deducting your gambling losses.

All Gambling Winnings Are Taxable Income

All gambling winnings are taxable income—that is, income that is subject to both federal and state income taxes (except for the seven states that have no income taxes). It makes no difference how you earn your winnings, whether at a casino, gambling website, Church raffle, or your friendly neighborhood poker game.

How to Use Gambling Losses as a Tax Deduction. You may use gambling losses as a tax deduction up to the amount of your gambling winnings within the same calendar year. In order to claim gambling losses, you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A and file your federal income tax return on Form 1040. Gambling losses do not impact your tax return nearly as much as gambling winnings. Losses only partially offset the tax effects of gambling winnings. If you’re a regular gambler in retirement, this means your fun can cost you thousands more in taxes and increased Medicare Part B premiums each and every year. Gambling losses are indeed tax deductible, but only to the extent of your winnings. This requires you to report all the money you win as taxable income on your return. However, the deduction for your losses is only available if you itemize your deductions. If you claim the standard deduction, then you can't reduce your tax by your gambling losses.

Oklahoma Income Tax Gambling Winnings

It also makes no difference where you win: whether at a casino or other gambling establishment in the United States (including those on Indian reservations), in a foreign country such as Mexico or Aruba, on a cruise ship, Mississippi river boat, or at a gambling website hosted outside the U.S. As far as the IRS is concerned, a win is a win and must be included on your tax return.

Gambling

Income Tax Gambling Winnings And Losses

All Your Winnings Must Be Listed On Your Tax Return

If, like the vast majority of people, you’re a recreational gambler, you’re supposed to report all your gambling winnings on your tax return every year. You may not, repeat NOT, subtract your losses from your winnings and only report the amount left over, if any. You’re supposed to report every penny you win, even if your losses exceeded your winnings for the year.

Gambling Losses May Be Deducted Up to the Amount of Your Winnings

Fortunately, although you must list all your winnings on your tax return, you don't have to pay tax on the full amount. You are allowed to list your annual gambling losses as an itemized deduction on Schedule A of your tax return. If you lost as much as, or more than, you won during the year, you won't have to pay any tax on your winnings. Even if you lost more than you won, you may only deduct as much as you won during the year.

However, you get no deduction for your losses at all if you don’t itemize your deductions—just one of the ways gamblers are badly treated by the tax laws.

You Need Good Records

As the above rules should make clear, you must list both your total annual gambling winnings and losses on your tax return. If you’re audited, your losses will be allowed by the IRS only if you can prove the amount of both your winnings and losses. You’re supposed to do this by keeping detailed records of all your gambling wins and losses during the year. This is where most gamblers slip up—they fail to keep adequate records (or any records at all). As a result, you can end up owing taxes on winnings reported to the IRS even though your losses exceed your winnings for the year.

Tax

This has happened to many gamblers who failed to keep records. For example, Bill Remos, a Coca-Cola delivery driver in Chicago, gambled for fun and got lucky: He won $50,000 in a single game of blackjack. When Remos filed his taxes for the year he didn’t report the $50,000 win as income. Why? He knew he had at least $50,000 in gambling losses during the year. He subtracted his losses from his winnings and ended up with zero; so he figured he didn’t have any gambling income to list on his return. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Not to the IRS. Remos was audited by the IRS. Because he failed to follow the rules and couldn’t document his losses, he had to pay income tax on his entire $50,000 blackjack win. He ended up owing the IRS $17,000 in back taxes. /cherry-gold-casino-free-no-deposit-bonus-codes-2018-6303/. This on an annual income of only $32,000!

Will the IRS Know?

Gambling is a cash business, so how will the IRS know how much you won during the year? Unfortunately for gamblers, casinos, race tracks, state lotteries, bingo halls, and other gambling establishments located in the United States are required to tell the IRS if you win more than a specified dollar amount. They do this by filing a tax form called Form W2-G with the IRS. You’re given a copy of the form as well. When a W2-G must be filed depends on the type of game you play. For examplle, the casino must file a W2-G if you win $1,200 or more playing slots; but only if you win $1,500 or more at keno. Thus, if you have one or more wins exceeding the reporting thrseshold, the IRS will know that you earned at least that much gambling income during the year. If this income is not listed on your tax return, you’ll likely hear from the IRS.

The Rules Differ for Professional Gamblers

If you gamble full-time to earn a living, you may qualify as a professional gambler for tax purposes. Professional gamblers inhabit a different tax universe than those who gamble for fun. In general, gambling pros are treated better by the IRS than amateurs, but few people qualify as gambling professioanls.