New legislation was introduced earlier this week that would raise the amount slot game players must report to the IRS. Nevada Representative Dina Titus and Pennsylvania Representative Guy Reschenthaler filed the bill as a way to help casinos as well as patrons.
Increasing the Threshold
The measure would increase the current reporting amount of $1,200 to $5,000. It would also provide a way to increase the amount in the future based on inflation. The limit for reporting has not been changed since 1977, based on information from the American Gaming Association (AGA).
CEO of the AGA, Bill Miller, commented that increasing the tax threshold in regards to inflation has been a long time coming. According to Miller it will ‘alleviate unnecessary administrative burdens on casino operators, their customers, and an understaffed and overwhelmed IRS.”
It is unclear if the bill has enough support to move forward but will certainly be considered and discussed within the United States government members. It will be interesting to see if the measure has enough support to push forward and when it will be instituted if it is passed into law.
Why the Change is Needed?
Right now, when a player wins a slot jackpot of $1,200 or higher, the machine is shut down. After the slot is out of service, the winning player must complete a W-2G tax form. This form is then sent to the government and the player must pay taxes on the winnings.
In December 2020, Congress asked the United States Treasury Department to review the limit and raise it, but a report has yet to be provided on the matter. Based on a letter sent by members of Congress to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin, the report is overdue by a year. It is likely that the issue was placed on the back burner since the US was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and stimulus payments at the time.
The new bill was introduced by the two representatives and is also co-sponsored by Representatives Mark Amodei, Steven Horsford, and Anthony Brown. These lawmakers are on board with the change to slot tax law.
The gaming industry and of course, gamblers are in favor of the measure. For casinos, it will create less of a need for reporting smaller wins, and slots with wins under $5,000 can remain in operation. For patrons, it will mean that wins under $5,000 will not have to be reported, so no need to fill out paperwork or pay taxes.