Javier might look like a regular guy. Steelers fan, watches TV, sleeps a lot. But at night, Javier develops an amazing golden arm. Not only does this give him the power to write 1,000 expert sportsbook reviews per hour, but he can throw a football to Neptune and back in just under six seconds.
There comes a time in a sports bettors career when they ask the question, do I have to pay tax on my online betting winnings? The answer to this question is usually yes, but not always. Gamblers are expected to pay taxes on any of their gambling profits from throughout the year, but that doesn’t mean that a win automatically demands taxes paid on it.
Gamblers need to consider how much they’ve lost throughout the year as well. if they were profitable then they will have to pay taxes. If they broke even or lost money they won’t end up paying any taxes, but are still expected to claim the winnings on their taxes to remain in compliance with the IRS. Gamblers should get more familiar with sports betting taxes to help them meet the needs of the IRS and avoid serious problems. You should probably brush up on these laws even before you learn how to use pleasers or start learning to use betting odds at a sportsbook.
Sports betting profits are taxed at a rate around 24%
Winnings over $5,000 are often taxed automatically
Gambling losses can be deducted from winnings to avoid taxes
Are Sports Betting Taxes a Thing?
Yes, there are taxes on winnings from sports betting. Any profit attained from sports betting is taxed like income in the United States, but the percentage of taxes might be different than how standard income is taxed. That’s why it’s important to plan for different levels of taxes from basic income.
Gamblers that place sports bets regularly, or even casual players that have winnings from sports wagers should expect to pay taxes on those winnings. The sportsbook platforms keep track of winnings of different players and will report those winnings to the IRS. It’s best for you to track your own profit and loss information for sports betting as well, so you know exactly how much you owe in taxes if you owe any at all. This information can be tracked easily over time with simple accounting software, or most betting platforms will do the tracking for you.
24% Tax Withheld
The standard amount withheld by sportsbooks to cover sports betting taxes on wins is 24%. That’s the expected amount that will be owed when it comes tax time each year, but that doesn’t mean it’s the amount that is actually owed. The total amount owed for taxes on gambling winnings depends on the total amount earned by the person overall. Those in a higher tax bracket will be expected to pay more, while those in a lower bracket will be expected to pay less.
Winners should expect to pay out approximately in the form of taxes, but they shouldn’t be surprised if they end up paying out more than that either. It’s best to withhold even more of the winnings in the form of savings or investments just in case tax requirements are higher than expected. Sports betting taxes are an important consideration to be making, but even more importantly than that is to think about how much in taxes will be owed.
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply, 18+
Get FanDuel Sport Bonus
Prepare for Automatic Withholdings
Many sports bettors are surprised when their winnings are withheld for longer than expected after a big bet. That’s because the sportsbook is taking out the tax amount for the IRS automatically. One thing that gamblers should know about online sports betting taxes is that when the winnings amount to $5,000 or greater in value, the tax amount is often withheld automatically. This makes covering taxes on winnings simpler, but it can also take away from some of the excitement of winning at all. Most American betting sites that offer their services to American players follow this policy today, so gamblers should prepare themselves for it.
Withholdings aren’t Always Accurate
It’s important to remember that the withholdings taken by the sportsbook aren’t going to be accurate every time. The sportsbook is only guessing about how much you have to pay in taxes on your winnings. The withholdings might be greater than or lower than your tax obligations, which is why it’s important to prepare to have to pay more than what is withheld. Sports betting taxes fluctuate based on overall income and can be more or less than 24% depending on earnings overall. Keeping this in mind will help with meeting your tax obligations and avoiding being surprised when money is still owed while claiming taxes later on.
Just as winnings count as income on taxes, losses can serve as deductions to help you avoid paying taxes on any winnings. Sports betting taxes in NJ or any other state is only assessed on profits from sports betting. Players that lost money throughout the year or broke even from sports betting won’t end up spending anything on taxes for the activity. Those gamblers must still claim the winnings on their taxes, they just have to add their deductions on as well to avoid getting taxed without having any profits from betting. It’s possible to deduct losses from taxes up until the amount of total wins. That means if there are more losses than wins, or the same amount of losses as wins, those wins can be fully cancelled out. It’s not possible to deduct excessive losses from taxes beyond the point of the total winning amount though.
Keep Detailed Profit and Loss Records
In order to make sure you know how much you owe in taxes for all your sports betting throughout the year, keep detailed profit and loss records for your gambling activity. If you’re one of the people wondering is sports betting tax free? The answer is yes, but only if you don’t manage to make a profit by doing it. If you earn a profit you will have to pay taxes on those profits.
A good set of records will make determining your tax obligations simple to do. Without those records you will have to rely on sportsbook records, or look at old payment statements to try and figure it out, which can be time-consuming.
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply, 18+
Get FanDuel Sport Bonus
Consider Investing Wagering Winnings
A quick and easy way to prepare for tax obligations on winnings obtained through sports betting is to save or invest your winnings made off your successful sports betting picks. Put the money into a savings account. Use it to purchase short-term certificates of deposit or other secure investment options that will make the money available to you when you need to pay your taxes at the end of the year. By investing the money you can earn some additional profit on the winnings, and you’ll have additional money available if more taxes must be paid. Think about different investment options for a big win that you get and you could make it even more profitable over time. Doing this will help prepare for tax obligations and ensure that some extra money is around if the tax payment amount is actually larger than the sportsbook through t when it withheld the money originally.
Even though there are some tax obligations that go along with sports betting, it’s still possible for it to be profitable over time. Learning about different staking techniques through our fixed bet and staking strategy guide or finding out "what is a prop bet?" will help you prepare to wager in the most profitable way that you can. With enough practice you might start winning often enough to have to think about paying taxes on all your profits.
Join a Sportsbook to Start Playing for Profits
Winning big on a sports bet is cause for celebration, but it’s important to think about the tax obligations that come with a big win as well. Gamblers that are interested in winning big should take the time to look at our different sportsbook recommendations and which options stand out the most for their offerings. When you find a sportsbook that looks the best, select it and sign up to start playing for big wins. Join today and you could have big wins and tax obligations to think about before you know it.
It’s important that every sports bettors realizes taxes are due on any profits they achieve through sports betting. Wins don’t necessarily come with tax obligations though if they don’t outweigh the losses taken from sports betting throughout the year. Just be sure to track your wins and losses and to record both on your tax returns each year to keep up with any tax obligations required.
If you do owe taxes it’s cause for celebration because it means you’re profitable with your sports betting hobby. Sports betting is an entertaining hobby, but gamblers must take steps to remain compliant with the IRS or they could find themselves in trouble.