08/06/2014 1:09PM

Treasury Department to consider altering tax rule on winnings


The U.S. Treasury Department has told Congress that it will review a proposed reinterpretation of a tax rule that would be favorable to horseplayers, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which conducts federal lobbying efforts on behalf of the racing industry, said Wednesday.

The NTRA said the Treasury Department acknowledged in a response to congressional representatives that it “will take the recommendations under consideration.” The representatives, including the highest-ranking members of the House Ways and Means Committee, signed on to a letter that asked Treasury to consider allowing horseplayers to use the total cost of a bet, rather than the denomination of the wager, in the calculation to determine tax liability for large winning payoffs, a reinterpretation that could save horseplayers millions of dollars annually in taxes.

According to racing officials, the Treasury Department had the option of refusing to consider the recommendation. Although the department is not guaranteed to issue an opinion favorable to the racing industry, one official characterized the Treasury acknowledgement “as a good first step.”

Horseplayers have long complained about the current rule, which requires horseplayers to pay taxes on bets that pay off at greater than 300-1 odds, based on the denomination of the bet. Horseplayers and racing-industry advocates have argued that the total cost of the bet should be considered when determining the tax liability, especially in an era when most everyday players target multileg bets like the pick four, pick five, and pick six, using tickets that frequently cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Approximately 7,500 people signed an online petition urging Treasury to reinterpret the rule. The NTRA and Daily Racing Form both sent out notices alerting horseplayers to the petition and asking other horseplayers to publicize the petition.

Walter More than 1 year ago
Taxing gambling winning is extremely unfair. Our wagering dollars are already taxed in the form of takeout. A portion of takeout goes to the govt for taxes. Now if you actually win, you are being taxed twice. It is wrong in all ways.
Scott Scheib More than 1 year ago
In theory it may help, but the whales/syndicates will benefit because a group pick 6 will only tax one. The split will bring back more to the pocket. If you are serious player and not a complete genius, you should be able to write off all the taxes anyway.
Stephen Mercier More than 1 year ago
Uncle Sam taketh....
Bob Rose More than 1 year ago
But Stephen, without illegal double taxation, how else could we award billions to countries that despise us?!?!?!
jon g More than 1 year ago
Any changes will benefit the IRS and the whales. If you think different you are either delusional or have zero common sense. There is no way they leave it at 300-1
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
In Canada you keep ALL your winnings. You don't get taxed on gaming wins.
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
that's sensible. they also have 20-cent tris, which sometimes can wind up as a W2G signer in the USA. Track takeout also should be part of the tax formula, not just the odds. Ray
Bugsy Anderson More than 1 year ago
There was 2 .20 cent tri that would have been taxed in the US and both win 4s.... today alone
Bryan Waters More than 1 year ago
"Especially in an era when most everyday players target multileg bets like pick four, pick five, and pick six, using tickets that frequently cost hundreds to thousands of dollars." What? Are you drunk? Journalistically, that has to be (1) the laziest and (2) the most misleading sentence ever written. This would benefit whales. It's the rich (whales) getting into bed with the rich (Congress) to give the white male establishment another tax break. It's morally disgusting.
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. More than 1 year ago
yes please end the double tax. if you're a genius they screw you, that's discrimination. they should try it and see how hard it is, here did they get the idea they should take part of your winnings ANYWAY, while Wall street is getting over like fat rats the 50cent, 10cent bet is a good work around,
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Death to Taxes
Thomas Mcdonough More than 1 year ago
If anyone thinks there will be any change, I have a bridge I would like you to consider.
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
is it in madison county???