Every year, I join a fantasy football league with my friends and every year, I lose. So for me, unfortunately, my limited sports gambling has no impact on my taxes. But if you frequently place bets on sporting events, and find yourself winning, it may have an impact on your taxes.
With the US Supreme Court ruling allowing any state to legalize sports betting, an increasing number of people are wagering on sports each year. And, as is the case with all activities that generate income of any sort, it will have an effect on your taxes. Many people don’t think about the tax implications of placing wagers on their favorite winning sports teams, but if you took part in sports gambling, here are some things you need to know about the tax implications.
Your Gambling Winnings are Considered Income
All income is taxable and gambling winnings are considered income. They apply even if you aren’t a professional gambler. If you win money from lotteries, raffles, horse races, or casinos – that money is subject to income tax.
When you win, the entity paying you will issue you a Form W2-G, Certain Gambling Winnings, if the win is large enough.
Fantasy League Winnings Are Taxable
If you win your Fantasy football league, it’s all taxable income in the eyes of the IRS. If you win $600 or above, the gambling facility will ask for your social security number so they can report your winnings to the IRS, but remember even if you don’t receive a form reporting your income, you still have to claim your winnings on your taxes.
Winnings From Online Sports Sites Are Taxable
If you win money betting on sports from sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, or Bovada, it is also taxable income. Those sites should also send both you and the IRS a tax form if your winnings exceeds $600. If you take home a net profit exceeds $600 for the year playing on websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel, the organizers have a legal obligation to send both you and the IRS a Form 1099-MISC. If you receive your winnings through PayPal, CashApp, Zelle, or Venmo, the reporting form may be a Form 1099-K.
Report Winnings Even if You Don’t Receive Form 1099
The 1099 tax forms report your winnings to the taxing authorities and also lets you know the amount you must report on your tax return taxes. Even if you don’t receive a Form 1099, you still need to report the net profits on your federal and state income tax returns.
Winnings at a Sportsbook/Casino
If you win at a sportsbook/casino, they are legally obligated to report your winnings to the IRS and to you if you win up to a certain amount, ($600 on sports, $1,200 on slots, and $5,000 on poker).
You Can Deduct Losses if You Itemize
Fortunately, you can deduct losses from your gambling only if you itemize your deductions.
Gambling losses can be deducted up to the amount of gambling winnings. For example, if you had $10,000 in gambling winnings in 2022 and $5,000 in gambling losses, you would be able to deduct the $5,000 of losses if you itemize your tax deductions.
If you had losses greater than your gains, you wouldn’t be able to claim the excess loss amount. Reversing the example above, if you had $5,000 in gambling winnings and $10,000 in gambling losses, you would only be able to deduct only $5,000 of gambling losses. The remaining $5,000 in losses would be lost forever; you can’t carry the losses forward to the next year.
Whereas your winnings are reported by the payer on a Form W2-G, your losses may not be reported. You will have to produce other documentation to validate the deduction. This can include wagering receipts or tickets, canceled checks, or other receipts.
It may also be possible to establish your losses by keeping some type of detailed log. This log should include information such as the date and type of gambling activity, people you gambled with, and the amount of your winnings and losses.
Under tax reform, you can only deduct losses directly related to your wagers and not non-wagering expenses like travel-related expenses to gambling sites.
College Seating Rights for 2018 and Beyond
In a related matter, there’s bad news on the college seating rights front starting with the 2018 tax year under tax reform.
Under the old tax law, donors were allowed to make contributions in exchange for the right to purchase tickets or seating at college sporting events with a big tax advantage. They could treat 80% of the contribution as a charitable deduction. The remaining 20% represented the actual cost of the tickets or seating.
In this way, the IRS recognized that the majority of the money paid for college seating rights represented a charitable contribution, rather than a ticket purchase. Unfortunately, that tax break has been eliminated, starting in the 2018 tax year.
Don’t worry about knowing these tax rules. Meet with a TurboTax Expert who can prepare, sign and file your taxes, so you can be 100% confident your taxes are done right. Start TurboTax Live Full Service today, in English or Spanish, and get your taxes done and off your mind.
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