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Be aware of changes to state tax law

Posted at 6:47 PM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 19:47:09-04

If you gamble, you may not feel like as much of a winner come tax season next year. Changes in the State of Oklahoma tax law a limiting how much you can write off as a "loss."

"I see this for Oklahoman's as like the gambling penalty," said Eileen Robinson, the head accountant at Gardner's Tax Services Inc.

In previous years, you could write off your total gambling losses in your adjusted income which is what you can still do for federal taxes, but for Oklahoma state taxes, you can't do that anymore.

"For federal you have to show in the income on the 1040, your schedule "A" is where you take your itemized deductions and that's where you right off your gambling losses," Robinson said. "In Oklahoma, they limited the amount of itemized deductions you can take, you can take all of your donations but it limits the rest of it to that 17,000."

This means you'll have to pay income tax for the total amount of big jackpots.

In the past, if you lost money while gambling, then won, you could deduct those losses from your winnings then only pay the tax on the difference.

"Now when you win that money you're going to have to pay the taxes whether you out that money back into the machine or not," Robinson said.

Something that Robinson says has been an unpleasant surprise for her clients this year.

"They're in shock, most of them didn't know and of course not until we got ready to do their taxes," Robinson explains.

It may be too late to make the adjustment this year, but there are ways to prepare for the tax change next season.

"I'd say 5% of all their winnings needs to be set aside to send in" Robinson said. "So lets say if you won something you need to make sure you set back enough to be able to pay the taxes for the state and try not to plug that into the machine."

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