It feels good to hit the jackpot! But before you get too excited about your casino winnings, remember that taxable gambling income is a factor. Unfortunately, you won’t end up with the exact amount that you won. When it comes to gambling, you have to give a portion of the potluck to Uncle Sam. But how much will you owe? Do you have to report casino winnings?
Well, take a look at the info below to learn more about taxes and gambling.
Understanding Taxable Gambling Income
Income winnings from gambling are usually considered taxable income that must be reported on your tax return. As you are filling out your taxes, your casino winnings should fall under the Other Income category on Schedule 1.
In this section, it should include cash and the Fair Market Value of any physical item that you win, such as a car. According to the law, jackpot winners are obligated to report all of their winnings on their Federal tax returns.
Not only that, but depending on the amount of the winnings, you may also get a Form W-2G from the IRS. That form is used to report the amount of your winnings and the amount of withheld tax.
If you win money in a state that you’re not a resident, the cash winnings are to be reported on Form 1040 NR, which is the Non-Resident Alien Income Tax Return.
What Type of Earnings Must Be Reported?
Basically, all casino winnings have to be reported. This includes money and prizes in a variety of categories. The casino winnings that you must report include the following:
- Casino games
- Dog races
- Horse races
- Betting pools
- Poker tournaments
- Slot machines
- Game shows
Keep in mind that the items on this list aren’t limited. That means, there could be other forms of casino winnings not listed above that you may have to pay taxes on. However, there are a few exceptions to the reporting rule.
One exception is that the winnings from bingo, slot machines, and Keno may not be subject to tax with holdings. If certain circumstances are met, the winner may need to be given a social security number in an effort to avoid withholding
Non Cash Winnings
In the instance of non-cash winnings, you must put the Fair Market Value of the item on your taxes. For instance, if you win a car or vacation, whatever the market value is, that’s the amount that should be reported.
When Is a W-2G Form Needed?
The payer of the winnings must give you a Form W-2G if you win the following:
- More than $600 if the amount is a minimum of 300 times the wager
- Over $1,200 of winnings from bingo or slot machines (not minimized by wager)
- Over $1,500 in winning from Keno (minimized by wager)
- More than $5,000 from poker (reduced by the buy-in or wager)
- Any jackpot winnings that are subject to the federal income tax withholding mandate
If you receive earnings that are to be reported on Form W-2G, then the federal taxes withheld are done at a flat rate of 24%. On the other hand, if you didn’t give the payer your tax ID number, that withholding is also 24%.
State Taxes for Casino Winnings
The state taxes for casino winnings are a bit different. Some states have a flat rate and others are more complicated.
For example, if you win a non-cash prize, like a car or vacation, then you are responsible for paying the taxes of the Fair Market Value of each prize that you win. Based on the amount of your jackpot, and the type of gambling game you played to win the money, the payer might be required to withhold income taxes.
Usually, 24% of the amount won is the required, withheld percentage. On the contrary, some cases require a backup withholding instead. That amount is also 24%
Small Winnings and Lottery Scratch Offs
For the most part, any income won from gambling is considered taxable income. Even if you buy a scratch-off, and you win $20 from a $5 ticket, then $15 should be reported on your income taxes.
Believe it or not, you also have to report online lottery winnings. Follow the highlighted link to learn more about how to find online casinos real money games. Internet gambling sites are a great way to win some serious cash. But don’t forget, you have to report those earnings as well!
How to Report Gambling Losses
If you lose money while gambling, you can put that on your tax return as well. To deduct gambling losses, put the amount under your itemized deductions. You can deduct the losses, but only up to the amount of your total gambling winnings.
In most cases, you have to report your winnings and losses separately, instead of reporting the net amount.
Gambling losses are subtracted on Schedule A of the tax return under miscellaneous deductions.
Taxes and Gambling: Enjoying Your Casino Winnings
While it would be nice if you didn’t have to report your casino winnings, that’s not the reality. When you get free money, just know that it’s not quite free. But the last thing you’d want is to get in trouble with the IRS.
So, if you ever hit the jackpot, be sure to do the right thing, and enjoy the rest of the money that you’ve won.
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