AGA wins tax threshold argument with IRS

AGA wins tax threshold argument with IRS

Friday, December 30, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
IRS listened to AGA and the views of thousands of casino patrons

American Gaming Association (AGA) is celebrating after the US tax office the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) climbed down on a number of proposals it had made for tax reporting of slot winnings.

The final IRS regulations show that it has dropped its electronic player tracking proposal altogether, it has dropped its conceptual idea of lowering slot win reporting thresholds and on the optional aggregation method, payee ID, and other provisions, the final regulation appears to incorporate many of AGA’s technical suggestions, such as use of gaming day for optional aggregation.

President and CEO Geoff Freeman commented: “Today’s final IRS regulation is a big win not only for gaming companies and millions of casino visitors, but also for state and local governments who would have received fewer gaming tax dollars as a result of what would have been burdensome federal requirements.”

The industry strongly opposed the proposal to halve the slot jackpot reporting threshold from the current $1,200 level to $600. It pointed out that the current threshold was established in 1977 and, if adjusted for inflation, would be approximately $4,700 today.

When the proposals emerged in the summer of 2015, the AGA sprang into action. By the end of the public comment period on 2 June 2015, more than 13,000 people had expressed opposition to the proposal by signing a petition, leaving a comment directly with the IRS, or contacting their member of Congress by phone, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Freeman added: “Our grassroots campaign mobilised thousands of casino customers, members of Congress from 11 states urged restraint and compelling research demonstrated that the tax threshold should be at least $4,700 when adjusted for inflation. We look forward to continuing to work with the IRS and our federal partners to modernise regulations and protect millions of casino customers around the country.”

Totally Gaming says: While gambling has a bad political reputation as a ‘vice industry’, the AGA’s success here shows how potent the motivation of customers can be. Politicians and regulators might not be too keen to listen to the gambling industry, but they will listen to thousands of its patrons.

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