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Articles Posted in Gambling Winnings

It seems at times as though the IRS is an all-knowing, all-powerful entity that no one can escape. You can’t run, and you can’t hide. They know how much money you make, how much you have in your bank and investment accounts, and even how much you won while playing roulette at the casino last week. But the real question is: do they truly know all of this? Or do we just assume they do? How can they obtain all this personal information? The answer is pretty simple. In reality, the IRS does have plenty of financially insightful access to everything from your bank accounts to every tax form submitted with your name and social security number on it. But is there a limit to “Big Brother’s” financial access?

How Does the IRS Know That I Have Undisclosed Income?

The IRS uses a sophisticated computer system in order to match up your income as reported on your tax return with everything that your employers have reported under your name and social security number. For example, if you submit a return that only has the money that you’ve made from one client or job, neglecting to enter any of your other income, the IRS’ computers will catch the mistake. Then, you’ll receive a letter from them informing you of their findings and their impact on your current tax situation.

Winning money at a casino, sportsbook, or via the lottery is a rollercoaster ride with its inevitable up and downs. Yes, it is undeniably exciting to win and stash a little extra cash in your pocket. But the downside that many forget in the heat of the moment, is that you owe taxes on those winnings, and if those taxes are not disclosed on your annual tax return or paid in full, you could end up with plenty of problems with the IRS. They will not hesitate to collect what is owed to them and more, should you profit from gambling winnings.

What Constitutes Gambling Winnings?

The IRS only requires people to pay taxes on a certain amount of the money that they win through gambling. These amounts vary, based on how the money is won. Here is a general breakdown to keep in mind when at the casino or racetrack:

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