If you live in a state where sports betting is legal, it is important to understand the tax implications of it
Winnings Are Taxable Income
First, when you engage in sports betting, it is important to understand that any gambling winnings you earn are taxable income, like other income forms. You have to report income that you win from gambling on your taxes. It is considered gambling income, just like winning the lottery or winning a jackpot at the casino.
The exact amount you owe will depend on your tax situation and the tax bracket you fall into. As most states consider gambling earrings as taxable income, you are going to need to pay state income tax, if applicable, on your earrings as well.
Winnings Need to Be Reported
Second, it is up to you to report your earrings. You will have to report your earnings on a W-2G form to the IRS. You are going to need to know the contact information for the person or company that you won money from. You will need to state how much you won and the kind of wager you made. You need to make sure you fill out this form for all your winnings if you won money from more than one source and on more than one bet. This will be easier if you keep track of your winnings throughout the year and not just at tax time.
Losing Can Be Deductible
Third, if you lose money, you may be able to deduct that money. If you keep records of your wins and losses and itemize your deductions, you can actually deduct your losses. You will only be able to deduct your losses up to the value of your winnings.
Consequences for Not Paying
If you don't pay your tax bill, you will face the consequences. You could be forced to pay back your taxes with compounded interest. You may even face a felony fine and even prison time.
If you engage in sports betting, you will want to make sure that you track your winnings and earnings. You need to make sure you pay money on your winnings and meet your legal obligations with all taxable income. You should talk with a sports betting tax consultant in order to make sure you fully understand your taxable obligations when it comes to sports betting so that you don't make any mistakes on your taxes.