How to Pay Taxes on Sports Betting Winnings & Losses

Did Your Team Just Win Big? Here’s What You Need To Know About Paying Tax On Sports Betting

You must pay taxes on all your earnings. Winning a bet is the same as making money, so you must report it to IRS. In this article, we will answer your questions regarding this sensitive topic.

Must I pay Tax?

Whether you’re a casual wager or a professional in the gambling industry, the IRS treats your gains differently. In this post, we’ll talk about the tax implications of gambling winnings.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, “gambling gains are completely taxable and must be reported on your tax return.” Examples of gambling income are a lottery, raffle, horse racing, and casino earnings. Prizes, such as vehicles and vacations, are included in the prize pool. This includes any earnings derived from sports betting or fantasy league participation.

No matter how small your winnings are, you’re required by law to report them to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Some people say that winnings of less than $600 are exempt from taxation. This statement is wrong and criminal. You must report all winnings to the IRS on the winner’s income tax return. Meanwhile, the payer must notify the IRS of any gains exceeding $600 or 300 times the initial stake. Payers must report winnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if they bet $1 and win $400.

How can I pay?

All winnings above $600 must be reported to the IRS by sportsbooks. This does not mean you should not record the earnings yourself.

Betting winnings are rarely reported by many people. In addition to the fact that the IRS may already be aware of your income, there are numerous more reasons to avoid this.

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You may collect a Form W-2G from the people that pay out your winnings, depending on the nature of the bet. The payer may instead issue you a 1099-MISC or a 1099-K. If they utilize a third-party institution to process your payment, this is especially true.

Betting profits (including sports bets) must be reported on your Form 1040, Schedule 1, Line 8 under “Other Income,” regardless of the tax form you receive. Any and all winnings are included here. Losses can only be deducted if your taxes are itemized. The same holds true for the money you put down upfront. You can deduct up-front stakes on Schedule A, something taxpayers who take the standard deduction cannot do according to IRS guidance.

Unless you lose, you cannot deduct money that you do not put up upfront, but rather wager as a possible loss. It’s possible, for example, to win $1,000 on a football wager with a $100 bet. It’s called “up-front stakes” if you hand over $100 to your bookmaker. You can deduct $100 from your Schedule A if you receive $1,000 in return. No money is sent to the bookmaker up front, so you cannot deduct the $100 bet on your Schedule A because there is no money given to the bookmaker up front.

The problem of whether up-front stakes diminish your taxable gains by the amount that you initially wagered is not well understood by the tax authorities. According to certain guidelines, if you bet $100 and win $1,000, you must pay taxes on the entire $1,000 you earned. According to some authorities, if you bet $100 and win $1,000, you only have to pay taxes on the $900 that you actually earned. Only wagers with up-front stakes are affected by this ambiguity.

If you bet $1,000 on a college football game, you’ll get $1,000 back. You have won $2,000! Later, you placed a $1,000 stake on a different sport. You are left with nothing after placing your bet.

Your $2,000 in winnings is treated as miscellaneous income on your 1040 Schedule 1 if you are claiming the standard deduction. This is deducted from your yearly income before calculating your taxes.

If you itemize your taxes, you’ll be able to: Miscellaneous income on your 1040 includes your $2,000 wins. Your $1,000 loss is listed on Schedule A of your tax return. You can deduct $1,000 from your Schedule A if you placed up-front stakes on your winning wager.

If you’re not sure what to do after receiving a W-2G or a Form 1099 from your employer, consult with a tax specialist.


Sports betting winnings are taxable, like any other kind of gambling winnings. No matter how little, all winnings are subject to federal income tax, and you may also be liable for state taxes. Check out your state’s tax laws before deciding on a strategy for saving money on your taxes.

What you need to know about taxes

There’s a lot to learn about psychology and economics when it comes to—playing the numbers.

As a sort of entertainment, gambling might be an enjoyable pastime, but it’s not a sensible financial strategy. Financial advisors can help you build a healthy financial strategy. Finding a good financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. To help you choose the perfect financial advisor, SmartAsset’s free service pairs you with up to three local financial advisors. You can then interview each of your advisor matches for free to narrow down your options. Now is the time to begin your search for a financial advisor who can assist you in achieving your goals.

Use the SmartAsset Tax Return Calculator to examine how your income, withholdings, and so on.

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