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Bill would raise slot jackpot tax report threshold to $5,000

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The gambling industry and some of its allies in Congress are renewing a push to decrease the number of slot machine jackpots that get reported to the IRS.

Legislation introduced Thursday by U.S. Reps. Dina Titus, a Nevada Democrat, and Guy Reschenthaler, a Pennsylvania Republican, is being touted as a benefit to casinos, which would need to take fewer slot machines out of service temporarily while tax forms and filled out for winning patrons.

But it also would have the practical effect of preventing more slot jackpot winners from having their winnings reported to the government.

The bill would increase the threshold for IRS reporting of slot jackpots from the current $1,200 to $5,000, and would provide a mechanism for future increases based on inflation.

The limit has not been changed since 1977, according to the American Gaming Association, which endorsed the measure.

“Increasing the slot tax threshold to account for inflation is a long overdue change that will alleviate unnecessary administrative burdens on casino operators, their customers and an understaffed and overwhelmed IRS,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the association.

Currently, when a casino patron wins a slot machine jackpot of $1,200 or more, the machine is temporarily taken out of service while the patron is required to complete a W-2G tax reporting form.

Congress directed the U.S. Treasury Department to look into raising the limit in Dec. 2020 but a report has not yet been issued, and is nearly a year overdue, according to a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin by six members of Congress.

The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Mark Amodei, Republican of Nevada; Steven Horsford, Democrat of Nevada, and Anthony Brown, Democrat of Maryland.

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