- Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana State
- Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana Unemployment
- Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana Casinos
- Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana Lottery
Can I claim a prize on a multidraw ticket before all the drawings have occurred?
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Yes! The multidraw features on the Lottery's draw-style games allows players to purchase plays for multiple drawings, up to 14 for Pick 3 and Pick 4 and up to 20 for Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto and Easy 5. If you win a prize during one of the drawings, you do not have to wait until the last drawing has occurred before collecting those winnings. When you cash a winning multidraw ticket with drawings still remaining, the Lottery's terminal system will print out an exchange ticket good for the balance of the remaining drawings and with the same numbers as on your original ticket. The retailer will retain the original ticket as it is no longer valid and give your exchange ticket with your winnings.
Can I get cash instead when I win a FREE ticket on a scratch-off?
No. Tickets winning a 'FREE TICKET' may be redeemed only at a participating Lottery retail location and may be redeemed for a FREE instant ticket of equivalent sales price from any current active instant game, within the claim period for that game.
How are winners taxed?
Both the federal and state government consider winnings from all forms of gaming to be income for tax purposes. By law, the Louisiana Lottery must report winnings from each single ticket with a prize value over $600 to the Internal Revenue Service and the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation. Income tax regulations require the Louisiana Lottery to withhold 24 percent federal taxes from each prize over $5,000 and 5 percent state taxes from prizes of $5,000 or more. A gambling income statement, W-2G, is printed for each ticket greater than $600 and given to the claimant when they receive their prize check. Winners should keep the W-2G secure until they are ready to file federal and state income taxes.
How can I tell how much I've won?
Once you know what winning numbers were drawn or have finished scratching your scratch-off, there are several different ways to find out whether your ticket is a winner and if so, how much you have won.
The easiest way is to download the Louisiana Lottery Official Mobile App for FREE to your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. The app allows you to scan the barcode on your draw-style game or scratch-off ticket to determine whether they are winners and the amount of the win.
The Lottery recommends that players familiarize themselves with all of the winning combinations of the particular game that they are playing. These can be found on all the game pages of this website. Also, 'All Games Guide' brochures located in the Lottery's play centers at Lottery retailers describe how each draw-style game is won.
Finally, retailers can scan your ticket to determine whether it is a winner. Watch the Customer Display Unit when having your ticket checked. It will tell you whether or not your ticket is a winner and if so, the winning amount. For tickets that win more than $600 (the maximum amount a retailer can cash), the display will direct you to a Lottery office to claim your prize. You can also ask the retailer to provide you with a Validation Receipt confirming the value of your ticket.
Even if you are unsure if your ticket is a winner, it is a good idea to sign it.
How long do you have to claim a prize?
Winning scratch-off tickets can be claimed up to 90 days following the closure of the game. A list of closed games and end-of-redemption dates can be found on this website. Winning draw-style game tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the drawing in which the prize was won.
How soon after a drawing can I claim a winning ticket at a retailer?
Winning tickets of $600 or less may be claimed as soon as the drawing has taken place and winning numbers and prize data from that drawing have been verified and loaded onto the retailer terminal system. For games with drawings that take place in Louisiana (Lotto, Easy 5, Pick 3 and Pick 4), this usually occurs between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. For Powerball and Mega Millions, the Lottery must have clearance from the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which oversees the games, before enabling prize payment. This typically occurs between midnight and 1 a.m. Remember, only winning tickets worth up to $600 can be paid at retailer locations.
If I play the Lottery with a group of people, how do we go about claiming a prize as a group?
The prize on a winning lottery ticket may be split among a group of ticket owners; however only one prize check is issued. The prize check is issued to either one person or legal entity (partnership, trust, etc.). Each member of the group provides a completed IRS Form W-9 for tax reporting purposes at the time of the claim. The person receiving the check for the group also provides picture identification and is responsible for distributing the winnings to the group members.
For a prize paid in a single payment, the check recipient may choose to complete a Federal Form 5754 that ensures the tax obligation of the prize is distributed among the group members according to the gross prize amount of each person’s share. The Federal Form 5754 allows the Lottery to send a separate W-2G tax form to each individual winner noting the amount won and withheld on their behalf.
The Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot prize may be paid in the annuity payment format or the single payment cash option. The group members must decide on one payment option; it is not possible for some group members to take the cash option and others to choose the annuity.
While it is not necessary for a group of people to form a legal entity to claim the cash option, the Lottery asks a group of winners to form a legal entity with an assigned tax identification number for a jackpot prize paid in annual installments. This simplifies the tax reporting and prize distribution for a group of people receiving payments over an extended time.
When claiming a prize as a legal entity, the legal document organizing the entity must list the name of each member of the group, their city of residence, and the portion of the prize each person will receive.
The Lottery encourages all players to seek financial advice before claiming a large jackpot prize.
As with all claims, the names of those receiving prize funds and their city of residence is public record.
If I think I've won the jackpot, what should I do?
Players should sign the back of their ticket for security purposes, secure their ticket and treat it as cash. We also recommend that players who believe they hold a Powerball, Mega Millions or Lotto jackpot-winning ticket contact the Lottery's headquarters immediately at 225-297-2000 to schedule a time to claim their prize and have their questions answered. This will facilitate a smooth prize payment process. Players who believe they hold a jackpot-winning ticket must bring the original ticket to the Lottery's corporate headquarters in Baton Rouge within 180 days of the drawing in which the prize was won for verification and any prize payment. The Lottery recommends that before coming to claim a jackpot prize, winners get financial advice so they fully understand the tax or other legal implications involved.
If I win, can I remain anonymous?
If you win more than $600 and are therefore required to claim your prize at a Lottery office, you will be required to complete a claim form for tax purposes. Under the Lottery's statute, all prize payment records are open records, meaning that the public has a right to request the information. Depending upon the amount won and public or media interest in the win, winners may NOT be able to remain anonymous. The statute also allows the Lottery to use winners' names and city of residence for publicity purposes such as news releases. The Lottery's regular practice is not to use winner information in paid advertising or product promotion without the winner's willingness to participate.
What happens to unclaimed prizes?
According to the Lottery's statute, unclaimed prize money is returned to players in the form of prizes and promotions, such as increased payouts on scratch-offs and additional second-chance promotions.
Why does it seem like there are no winners in my area?
The Lottery doesn't publicize every winner, so it's very likely there are winners in your area that you haven't heard about. When prizes are claimed at retailers, the Lottery does not know individuals' names. Also, some people who claim prizes at a Lottery office simply do not want any publicity and we respect their wishes when we can. When granted permission, the Lottery will post winners' pictures and stories on its website.
Winning tickets in the Lottery's scratch-off games are randomly distributed. For security reasons, the Lottery doesn't know where winning tickets are until they are claimed.
Drawings for the Lottery's draw-style games are also random events. Again, we don't know where the winning tickets were sold until after the drawing. Because of the random nature of winning numbers and distribution of winning scratch-offs, statistics dictate that the greater the sales in one area, the greater the likelihood of having winners in that area. As it turns out, that's exactly the case. As the chart below demonstrates, more than 70 percent of Lottery sales come from south Louisiana, which is why that region collectively also has a larger percentage of winners.
|Percentage of Sales as of June 30, 2019|
|New Orleans region||35.21%|
|Baton Rouge region||19.36%|
The same statistical reality also exists for Powerball jackpots. Although every individual ticket has an equal chance of winning the jackpot, collectively, states with higher sales have a higher percentage of jackpot-winning tickets. Since joining Powerball in 1995, Louisiana has had 17 jackpot winners.
Do you like to gamble? If so, then you should know that the taxman beats the odds every time you do. The Internal Revenue Service and many states consider any money you win in the casino as taxable income. This applies to all types of casual gambling – from roulette and poker tournaments to slots, bingo and even fantasy football. In some cases, the casino will withhold a percentage of your winnings for taxes before it pays you at the rate of 24 percent.
Casino Winnings Are Not Tax-Free
Casino winnings count as gambling income and gambling income is always taxed at the federal level. That includes cash from slot machines, poker tournaments, baccarat, roulette, keno, bingo, raffles, lotteries and horse racing. If you win a non-cash prize like a car or a vacation, you pay taxes on the fair market value of the item you win.
By law, you must report all your winnings on your federal income tax return – and all means all. Whether you win five bucks on the slots or five million on the poker tables, you are technically required to report it. Job income plus gambling income plus other income equals the total income on your tax return. Subtract the deductions, and you'll pay taxes on the resulting figure at your standard income tax rate.
How Much You Win Matters
While you're required to report every last dollar of winnings, the casino will only get involved when your winnings hit certain thresholds for income reporting:
- $5,000 (reduced by the wager or buy-in) from a poker tournament, sweepstakes, jai alai, lotteries and wagering pools.
- $1,500 (reduced by the wager) in keno winnings.
- $1,200 (not reduced by the wager) from slot machines or bingo
- $600 (reduced by the wager at the casino's discretion) for all other types of winnings but only if the payout is at least 300 times your wager.
Win at or above these amounts, and the casino will send you IRS Form W2-G to report the full amount won and the amount of tax withholding if any. You will need this form to prepare your tax return.
Understand that you must report all gambling winnings to the IRS, not just those listed above. It just means that you don't have to fill out Form W2-G for other winnings. Income from table games, such as craps, roulette, blackjack and baccarat, do not require a WG-2, for example, regardless of the amount won. It's not clear why the IRS has differentiated it this way, but those are the rules. However, you still have to report the income from these games.
What is the Federal Gambling Tax Rate?
Standard federal tax withholding applies to winnings of $5,000 or more from:
- Wagering pools (this does not include poker tournaments).
- Other gambling transactions where the winnings are at least 300 times the amount wagered.
If you win above the threshold from these types of games, the casino automatically withholds 24 percent of your winnings for the IRS before it pays you. If you cannot provide a Social Security number, the casino will make a 'backup withholding.' A backup withholding is also applied at the rate of 24 percent, only now it includes all your gambling winnings from slot machines, keno, bingo, poker tournaments and more. This money gets passed directly to the IRS and credited against your final tax bill. Before December 31, 2017, the standard withholding rate was 25 percent and the backup rate was 28 percent.
The $5,000 threshold applies to net winnings, meaning you deduct the amount of your wager or buy-in. For example, if you won $5,500 on the poker tables but had to buy in to the game for $1,000, then you would not be subject to the minimum withholding threshold.
It's important to understand that withholding is an entirely separate requirement from reporting the winning on Form WG-2. Just because your gambling winning is reported on Form WG-2 does not automatically require a withholding for federal income taxes.
Can You Deduct Gambling Losses?
If you itemize your deductions on Schedule A, then you can also deduct gambling losses but only up to the amount of the winnings shown on your tax return. So, if you won $5,000 on the blackjack table, you could only deduct $5,000 worth of losing bets, not the $6,000 you actually lost on gambling wagers during the tax year. And you cannot carry your losses from year to year.
The IRS recommends that you keep a gambling log or spreadsheet showing all your wins and losses. The log should contain the date of the gambling activity, type of activity, name and address of the casino, amount of winnings and losses, and the names of other people there with you as part of the wagering pool. Be sure to keep all tickets, receipts and statements if you're going to claim gambling losses as the IRS may call for evidence in support of your claim.
What About State Withholding Tax on Gambling Winnings?
There are good states for gamblers and bad states for gamblers. If you're going to 'lose the shirt off your back,' you might as well do it in a 'good' gambling state like Nevada, which has no state tax on gambling winnings. The 'bad' states tax your gambling winnings either as a flat percentage of the amount won or by ramping up the percentage owed depending on how much you won.
Each state has different rules. In Maryland, for example, you must report winnings between $500 and $5,000 within 60 days and pay state income taxes within that time frame; you report winnings under $500 on your annual state tax return and winnings over $5,000 are subject to withholding by the casino due to state taxes. Personal tax rates begin at 2 percent and increase to a maximum of 5.75 percent in 2018. In Iowa, there's an automatic 5 percent withholding for state income tax purposes whenever federal taxes are withheld.
State taxes are due in the state you won the income and different rules may apply to players from out of state. The casino should be clued in on the state's withholding laws. Speak to them if you're not clear why the payout is less than you expect.
How to Report Taxes on Casino Winnings
Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana State
You should receive all of your W2-Gs by January 31 and you'll need these forms to complete your federal and state tax returns. Boxes 1, 4 and 15 are the most important as these show your taxable gambling winnings, federal income taxes withheld and state income taxes withheld, respectively.
Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana Unemployment
You must report the amount specified in Box 1, as well as other gambling income not reported on a W2-G, on the 'other income' line of your IRS Form 1040. This form is being replaced with a simpler form for the 2019 tax season but the reporting requirement remains the same. If your winnings are subject to withholding, you should report the amount in the 'payment' section of your return.
Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana Casinos
Are Gambling Winnings Taxable In Louisiana Lottery
Different rules apply to professional gamblers who gamble full time to earn a livelihood. As a pro gambler, your winnings will be subject to self-employment tax after offsetting gambling losses and after other allowable expenses.