SuperBowl Wins are Taxable

Published Sunday, February 01, 2009 -

It was estimated a few years ago more than $8 billion would be bet on that year's Super Bowl, with perhaps 1 percent wagered legally in Nevada and the rest illegally in office pools, informal bets and online sites. Staggering numbers that are sure to make the tax people drool at the thought of all that possible tax revenue.

Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for gambling on just about anything to do with the game even seeming trivial things. Online bet placement is as big as ever. Regardless of the gambling venue, bettors are required to report winnings on income-tax returns. How seriously people take this responsibility no one really knows.

Sue Taylor, Phoenix district manager for H&R Block,cites a recent H&R Block survey that indicates one-third of respondents to the survey didn't realize their gambling winnings were taxable.

John W. Roth, a senior federal-tax analyst at CCH. stated " If you win an informal office pool, you technically are supposed to report it." " But I think the Internal Revenue Service is more concerned about Internet betting, which is easier to track through credit cards."

Gambling losses are deductible, but only to the extent you use them to reduce winnings. In other words, you can't deduct net losses. If you are deducting losses, the IRS requires an accurate account of your wagering activities.

The larger gamblers do keep track. A lot of casinos will provide tracking cards on request.

Whether income is from working, investments,gambling online or otherwise, it's all income in the eyes of the IRS.

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