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. Gambling might be an enjoyable pastime for some and it might provide a nice adrenaline rush when you win, but your winnings are subject to federal income tax, and possibly to state taxes as well. All winnings that you realize in a casino are taxable as income, both on the state and federal levels. So, you should be reporting those wins on your annual tax returns. Though many people scoff at the.
Lottery and Gambling Winnings
Winning the Lottery or scoring on a sports wager can change your life in profound ways. Congratulations on your lucky break!
Just remember that your good fortune includes a responsibility to pay taxes and fees on those winnings.
In 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law that authorized legal sports betting in New Jersey. The law (A4111) allows people, age 21 and over, to place sports bets over the internet or in person at New Jersey's casinos, racetracks, and former racetracks. Sports betting is now among the many forms of gambling winnings that are subject to the New Jersey Gross Income Tax, including legalized gambling (sports betting, casino, racetrack, etc.) and illegal gambling.
New Jersey Lottery winnings from prize amounts exceeding $10,000 became subject to the Gross Income Tax in January 2009.
New Jersey Income Tax is withheld at an amount equal to three percent (3%) of the payout for both New Jersey residents and nonresidents (N.J.S.A. 54A:5.1(g)).
Withholding Rate from Lottery Winnings
The rate is determined by the amount of the payout. If a prize is taxable (i.e., over $10,000), the entire amount of the payout is subject to withholding, not just the amount in excess of $10,000. The withholding rates for gambling winnings paid by the New Jersey Lottery are as follows:
- 5% for Lottery payouts between $10,001 and $500,000;
- 8% for Lottery payouts over $500,000; and
- 8% for Lottery payouts over $10,000, if the claimant does not provide a valid Taxpayer Identification Number.
Companies that obtain the right to Lottery payments from the winner and receive Lottery payments are also subject to New Jersey withholdings. Each company is required to file for a refund of the tax withheld, if applicable.Lottery
New Jersey Lottery winnings from prize amounts exceeding $10,000 are taxable. The individual prize amount is the determining factor of taxability, not the total amount of Lottery winnings during the year.
- For example, if a person won the New Jersey Lottery twice in the same year, and the winning prize amounts were $5,000 and $6,000, these winnings would not be subject to New Jersey Gross Income Tax. However, if that person won the Lottery once and received a prize of $11,000, the winnings would be taxable.
- This standard for taxability applies to both residents and nonresidents.
- The New Jersey Lottery permits donating, splitting, and assigning Lottery proceeds to someone else or to a charity. If you choose to donate, split, or assign your Lottery winnings, in whole or in part, the value is taxable to the recipient in the same way as it is for federal income tax purposes.
Making Estimated Payments
If you will not have enough withholdings to cover your New Jersey Income Tax liability, you must make estimated payments to avoid interest and penalties. For more information on estimated payments, see GIT-8, Estimating Income Taxes.
Out-of-state lottery winnings are taxable for New Jersey Gross Income Tax purposes regardless of the amount.
Gambling winnings from a New Jersey location are taxable to nonresidents. Gambling includes the activities of sports betting and placing bets at casinos and racetracks.
Calculating Taxable Income
You may use your gambling losses to offset gambling winnings from the same year as long as they do not exceed your total winnings. If your losses were greater than your winnings, you cannot report the negative figure on your New Jersey tax return. You must claim zero income for net gambling winnings. For more information, see TB-20(R), Gambling Winnings or Losses.
You may be required to substantiate gambling losses used to offset winnings reported on your New Jersey tax return. Evidence of losses can include your losing tickets, a daily log or journal of wins and losses, canceled checks, notes, etc. You are not required to provide a detailed rider of gambling winnings and losses with your New Jersey tax return. However, if you report gambling winnings (net of losses) on your New Jersey return, you must attach a supporting statement indicating your total winnings and losses.
Reporting Taxable Winnings
Include taxable New Jersey Lottery and gambling winnings in the category of “net gambling winnings” on your New Jersey Gross Income Tax return.
Gambling is fun. Taxes are not. Unfortunately, the two have to go together for anything to happen.
The truth of the matter is that for states like Michigan, the only real reason to legalize any form of gambling is the opportunity for tax revenue. Whether it be to pay for schools, roads, or some other unspecified project, most governments are always on the lookout for a new revenue stream.
Paying any taxes stings, to be sure. However, it’s important that you know how and when the taxman might come when you visit one of Michigan’s casinos. So, here is a guide for how taxes apply to Michigan gambling.
What is taxable in Michigan?
Throwing money around in a casino rarely seems like an official transaction. Whether you win or lose, the final disposition of your chips can often feel like a stitch in time.
Unfortunately, it’s not. All winnings that you realize in a casino are taxable as income, both on the state and federal levels.
So, you should be reporting those wins on your annual tax returns. Though many people scoff at the notion of reporting cash income to the government, it counts the same as income from a check or direct deposit in the eyes of the taxman.
Failure to report your gambling income could, in theory, land you in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the state of Michigan’s tax office. In practice, those entities are unlikely to audit someone over a few hundred or thousand dollars, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t do so.
Also, please take note that non-cash winnings, like cars, boats, or other objects that you may win at a casino are subject to taxes too. The value that has transferred to you because of the win has increased your financial position, and the government wants its share of the loot. As a side note, game show prize winners have to do the same thing.
What taxes will I have to pay in Michigan?
Now that you’ve steeled yourself to the reality of giving away a portion of your sweet winnings to the government, you may be wondering who and what you’ll be forced to pay. As indicated earlier, you will be compelled to pay percentages to both the IRS and the state of Michigan for your wins there.
The IRS, for its part, will demand that you fork over 25% of your winnings to the feds for your troubles. This rate applies to wins of any size, so even if you win just a dollar, you’ll still need to throw a quarter at the taxman.
In addition, Michigan law requires that you pay an additional 4.25% to the folks in Lansing for having played in their casino. Even though the casinos themselves are the main wellspring of tax income for the state lawmakers, gamblers do not escape unscathed.
For smaller wins, you’ll essentially be on your honor to report your gambling winnings to the appropriate authorities. As stated earlier, it’s not legal just to stick the money into your pocket, but there’s no mechanism or watchful eye to force your compliance as you exit the casino.
That lack of oversight extends to wins up to $5,000. However, at that point, the casino itself is bound to collect 25% on the government’s behalf before it releases your winnings to you. Give the cage your name and Social Security number, and your tax bill will be settled before you leave the property.
Is Gambling Winnings Taxable
Obviously, losing 25% off the top is a kick in the teeth, but please don’t get any ideas about simply withholding your name and SSN. As it turns out, anyone who refuses to provide their information (for any reason) will be subject to an additional penalty of 3%.
Neither option is good, but bear in mind that the casino is not going to keep a cent of that money that it withholds. So, you might as well go along with it and live to fight another day.
If I never win $5,000, will I ever have to pay taxes upfront?
If you’re not a high roller, the idea of ever reaching the federal threshold for casinos to report wins might seem far-fetched. After all, if you usually bet in $5 or $10 increments, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll realize a win that exceeds $100, let alone $5,000.
So, you may be wondering if you’d ever have to worry about the feds ever knowing that you were gambling. Unfortunately, there are some other scenarios in which the casino might have to report your win to the IRS before handing you the proceeds from your hard-fought victory.
A casino must report a win to the IRS with Form W-2G if any of the following events occurs:
- The total winnings, or combined bet and profit, on a slot machine exceed $1,200.
- A player’s keno profit on a game is more than $1,500.
- A poker player wins more than $5,000 in a tournament.
- A game’s profit is more than $600 and is thirty times or greater than the bet amount.
Now, filing this form does not mean that the casino has to collect from your winnings automatically. However, since the government will soon be aware of your win, it would be foolish to omit it from your return. So, make sure to keep your copy of the form for your records.
The bottom line is that if you have a memorable win in a casino, it’s quite likely that the government wants to remember it, too.
How do I report my winnings?
It’s understandable that you might feel disappointed about having to pay taxes on your winnings. Nevertheless, in most cases, you’ll bite the bullet and decide to file. So, here’s how to do that.
As is the case for essentially anything to do with the IRS, there are forms to fill out. The first thing to do is report the income on the IRS Schedule 1, which is the form for additional income and adjustments to income.
On that form, look for Line 8 in Part I, which is entitled “other income.” Here is where you will list your winnings and their source. “Gambling” or “casino” are fine for explaining from where the money came in most cases, although you can be more specific regarding the casino and date if you’re worried about attracting attention.
Once you’ve entered the information onto your Schedule 1, you’ll need to put the same total onto line 7a of your regular tax return. You will then be able to add the winnings into your overall taxable income.
By the way, your Schedule 1 is also the place to list various types of deductions, like certain business expenses or student loan interest payments. So, make sure that you don’t miss out on all the different ways to knock down that taxable base.
Can I report gambling losses in any way?
Of course, gambling comes with the inherent chance of losing. However, you could understandably think that it seems unfair that the IRS only cares about your winnings. You may wonder if there’s a way to claim gambling losses on your taxes.
As it turns out, you can.
The IRS provides Schedule A as a form to claim various deductions. Although there’s no line expressly for gambling losses, you can list your setbacks in Box 16 – Other Itemized Deductions to claim them.
Now, there are two rules that go along with claiming casino losses on your tax form. The first, and most important, is that you cannot claim losses in excess of your claimed winnings.
Do I Have To Pay Taxes On Gambling Winnings
So, if you list $1,000 in gambling winnings on your Schedule 1, the maximum that you could claim as losses on your Schedule A would be $1,000. If you had a bad year at the casino (as many of us do), the IRS does simply allow you to write off the loss as a deduction against your taxable base, unfortunately.
The other rule is that you must be able to prove your losses in some kind of meaningful way in order to claim them. It is vital that you keep records, receipts, and other documentation to show the losses, or the IRS might not accept the deduction as valid.
After all, that might be a handy way to offset your winnings from the year and avoid taxation, so the IRS has to be sure that you took the beating you claim to have suffered. The chance that the agency will take a harder look at you will increase as the dollar amount goes up, so if you’re a bit of a high roller, it’s a good idea to keep a paper trail for yourself.
If you’re thinking that record-keeping might be a pain, you can possibly make things easier by using your loyalty or membership card at your casino of choice when you play. Since they award you based on your play, they keep records of your play. It shouldn’t be too difficult to acquire a copy of your history from the casino.
For your Michigan tax return, it is not possible to claim any kind of losses as a deductible expense. However, the state does allow you not to report the first $300 you win on bingo, poker, or other games from your total household expenses.
Do I have to pay taxes if I don’t live in Michigan?
It’s pretty clear that you have to pay taxes to Michigan if you’re a Michigan resident. However, you may be wondering if you’re still on the hook for the taxes if you’re just visiting from out of state.
Unfortunately, you are still bound to pay taxes to Michigan for your gambling win as a nonresident. As is often the case, there’s even a form for that. Worse yet, you will also have to report your winnings on your return for your own state, assuming that your state requires an income tax.
However, there are a couple of bits of good news. First of all, the states nearest Michigan (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) have reciprocal agreements with the Great Lake State regarding earnings that you incur in Michigan. If you live in one of those six states, you are not required to file a nonresident return in Michigan.
The other ray of sunshine is that there is, in fact, a tax credit that you will be able to claim on your home state’s return that will offset the taxes you paid in Michigan on your winnings. So, even though you had to fork over to a state in which you don’t live, you don’t have to pay double tax on the windfall. Although states are happy to collect tax revenue, they correctly realize that having to pay tax twice on the same win might lead citizens to decide it’s not worth the effort to play.
Do I have to pay taxes if I’m part of a group?
In many things, there is strength in numbers, and gambling is no exception. It’s not uncommon for a group of friends to pool their money so that they can roll a bit higher than they would individually. Whether they’re throwing in for a slot machine or on a lottery ticket, groups of people can often find themselves with a claim to a significant amount of winnings.
Unfortunately, taxes remain one of life’s surest things, and group wins are subject to taxation just as much as individual wins. As expected, there is a form for that.
If your group of friends scores big, you will need to fill out IRS Form 5754 to report the winnings for tax purposes. One of the group will have to designate himself or herself as the primary winner, and the other members of the group will have to note the share of the prize that they are claiming. So, if you hit it big with your buddies, you might need a calculator.
Once you’ve got the form filled out, send it to the IRS. If the win occurs at a casino, casino management might want a copy of the form for its own records, too.