Horseplayers, Support the Change for Pari-Mutuel Tax Withholdings

Washington DC smallWe all need to join the fight in D.C. to get the tax code to reflect today’s wagering and not outdated wagering limits from many decades ago.  Only in Washington would it make sense that a $608 score on a wager that cost $540 would get taxed the full amount!  Needless to say, it’s time for this archaic code to be changed in favor of horseplayers!

Use this form to send your message directly to policymakers in Washington, D.C.   Let them know that you want modernization of the tax regulations relating to withholding and reporting of winning pari-mutuel wagers because the current method is unfair and outdated.


With regard to pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, I am writing in response to the invitation by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for comments on amending the regulations under Treas. Reg. sec. 31.3402(q)-1.

Treas. Reg. section 31.3402(q)-1 needs to be modernized to ensure that both withholding and reporting of winnings from pari-mutuel wagering accurately and fairly reflect the realities of wagering today.

I respectfully request that the Treasury and the IRS amend Treas. Reg. sec. 31.3402(q)-1 to make it clear that the definition of the “amount of the wager” includes the total amount wagered by a bettor into a specific pari-mutuel pool for purposes of determining whether any wagering proceeds paid to the bettor from that pari-mutuel pool are subject to withholding and reporting.

I appreciate this opportunity to comment on Treas. Reg. sec. 31.3402(q)-1 in connection with the proposed regulation project (REG-132253-11).


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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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