Whenever you win a “qualifying amount” at a casino, they are legally required to report it to the IRS. Therefore, they will collect your social security number and send you an IRS Form W-2G. As such you want to make sure to report these winnings on your tax returns because the IRS obviously already knows about them. Do not make the mistake of trying to avoid the taxes by giving the casino incorrect information as this is very illegal and could get you into a lot of trouble.
According to the IRS, a casino will need to report your winnings to the IRS if you win: $600 or more at a casino or horse track, $1,200 or more at bingo game, or $1,500 or more in a game of keno. Depending on your winnings the casino may even withhold taxes from your payout.
Although smaller winnings will not be automatically reported to the IRS, it is still your legal duty to report them. While the IRS may not catch you in the act if you do not report these smaller winnings once or twice, they may get suspicious if you report gambling winnings often, but only those that are verified by a W-2G Form.
On the 1040
You must report your gambling winnings, prizes, or non-cash prizes on your Form 1040 come tax season. They will need to be put on line 21, with “other income”. 1040EZ forms cannot be used to report gambling winnings.
In addition to reporting your gambling winnings, you will also want to deduct your gambling losses. However, you cannot report gambling losses that exceed your total gambling winnings. When you deduct the losses, do so on Schedule A on IRS Form 1040 as an itemized deduction.
It is both helpful and smart to keep a thorough log on your gambling activity, including winnings and losses, as well as where the gambling took place. There are several reasons why doing so is a good idea, including but not limited to the possibility of an IRS audit. It will also make things easier when you need to prepare your return next April.
Taxes withheld from your winnings should also be reported in Box 2 of the Form W-2G you receive in the mail. Be sure to report these amounts on your Form 1040 in the total payments section.
Attach All Forms
To satisfy the IRS, be sure to attach all forms regarding your gambling activity to your tax return. This includes your W-2Gs or any other gambling-related tax documents.
You may think that people who get free hotel rooms, and tickets to shows from places they gamble at are pretty lucky. However, these “comps” do not come without a price. They are all considered gambling winnings by the IRS, and are subject to the same taxes.
Gambling is without doubt one of the most popular pastimes on the planet. However with its potentially addictive nature and the social consequences that this may entail it has been deemed illegal in many countries around the world. As in most of Asia gambling in South Korea is, in principle, illegal. It states in the Criminal Act, Article 246 that anyone who gambles or bets for the purpose of gaining property shall be punished by a fine of up to 5 million Won. Article 247 prohibits the opening of a place for the use of gambling for a profit and sets a punishment of imprisonment for no more than 3 years or a fine of up to 20 million Won.
This law is not a blanket exclusion of gambling and, in Korea you, you can still gamble under restricted circumstances – an example being for the promotion of tourism. There has also been laws enacted allowing gambling in certain circumstances.
The laws vary for foreigners and Korean citizens. As it stands at the moment the Special Act on the Assistance to the Development of Abandoned Mine Areas allows the running of the only land based casino in Korea that Korean citizens may enter. It is located in Gangwon province, in an abandoned mining district, the remote countryside helping to further restrict access for Koreans.
For non-Korean citizens the Tourism Promotion Act offers permission for hotels to operate casinos that only foreign nationals are allowed to enter. Such casinos are currently running in Seoul, Incheon, Jeju Island and are heavily supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
There are 2 lotteries open to Korean citizens the Lotto and the Toto ( a sports lottery). The operation of and selling of tickets are regulated under the Lottery Fund Act.
Horse racing and betting at the venues is permitted under the Korean Horse Affairs Association Act and comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Other race sports are also legal and regulated, these include cycling and motor boat racing although these both come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
d. Online Gambling
This is currently a gray area as Korea does not have relevant laws for the specifics of online gambling. Arguments can be made for both sides – for example, the monetary transactions will be taking place outside of Korean jurisdiction so can in no way be subject to Korean law, hence it is very unlikely that your money will be seized by anyone. However the end user is still in Korea so may well be subject to the national laws that apply to general gambling. The National Police Agency has established the Criminal Activity Investigation Team to help control any potentially unlawful online activities, including gambling. This certainly implies that it would be ‘considered’ illegal; although at present no cases have been brought to test this.