withholding tax on US gambling winnings


A Canadian partner of mine was in the United States and won some money at one of the casinos on one of the slot machines. The casino withheld 30% taxes. We want to know how to apply to get this money back. We were told to go through Management Refund Services, but they keep 25% of this money. Can we do this on our own? Do you need to apply for a ITIN # first and then do an income tax return, can it be done all at once or what is the procedure. Also what are the form numbers that have to be completed and in what order.
david ingram replies:

We would likely charge you $400 to $600 whether the refund was $10,000 or $300.00

The form you need is a US 1040NR To this should be attached a statement showing 'all' your winnings and all your losses.

You will also need an ITIN (Individual taxpayer identification number) which you get by filling in and filing form W7 with the 1040NR.

These older questions might help. It also includes the latest (2004) IRS bulletin on the subject


Do you provide a service to recoup the 30% withholding tax from the IRS.
If so what are your charges to do the work in total or to provide some advice to overcome the pitfalls (ie Article number of the Tax Treaty)

david ingram replies:

WE CAN PROVIDE THAT SERVICE but The 30% tax is only recoverable if you have in fact lost money in your gambling.


I recently had taxes withheld on slot machine wins in Reno, NV. I
understand, as a Canadian resident, that I can apply to have the taxes
refunded. Do I have to wait until the calendar year ends to apply?
david ingram replies:

You have to wait until 2008 for a 2007 refund but you have to have gambling
losses to offset gains to get a refund.

The following is the answer to an older question.

As a non US citizen, you must file a 1040NR along with a form W7 to get an
ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

The following is a previous answer given in January to someone who had
received a W2G for a win of $1,200.

We can help you.
older answer

For non-residents of the United States, the withholding is 30% of wins of
$1,200 or more. You would file a 1040NR to report the winnings and claim
your losses as itemized deductions.

Remember that reporting just your win of $2100 and claiming gambling losses
does not make sense. If you won $2,100 (or any other amount) and lost that
much, there were more winnings in between which should be reported even if a
slip was not issued.

Non-residents do not usually get a W2-G - they are issued a 1042-S

david ingram

IRS TAX TIP 2004-33


Hit a big one in 2003? With more and more gambling establishments, the IRS
reminds people that they must report all gambling winnings as income on
their tax return.

Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, winnings from lotteries,
raffles, horse and dog races and casinos, as well as the fair market value
of prizes such as cars, houses, trips or other noncash prizes.

Generally, if you receive $600 ($1,200 from bingo and slot machines and
$1,500 from keno) or more in gambling winnings, the payer is required to
issue you a Form W-2G. If you have won more than $5,000, the payer may be
required to withhold 27% of the proceeds for Federal income tax. However,
if you did not provide your Social Security number to the payer, the
amount withheld will be 30%.

The full amount of your gambling winnings for the year must be reported on
line 21, Form 1040 or the equivalent line on form 1040NR. If you itemize
deductions, you can deduct your
gambling losses for the year on line 27, Schedule A (Form 1040). You
cannot deduct gambling losses that are more than your winnings.

It is important to keep an accurate diary or similar record of your
gambling winnings and losses. To deduct your losses, you must be able to
provide receipts, tickets, statements or other records that show the
amount of both your winnings and losses.

For more information on record keeping, see IRS Publication 529,
"Miscellaneous Deductions," or Publication 525, "Taxable and Non-taxable
Income." You may also want to check out Form W-2G or Form 1042-S and its
instructions and
Tax Topic 419, "Gambling Income and expenses." All are available on the
IRS Web site at www.irs.gov. You may also order free publications and
forms by calling toll free 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).