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Jackpot winnings- Canadian tax rebate help

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by gambler, Jul 3, 2013.

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  1. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Hoping there are some lucky winners out there from Canada that can help us through this process. My husband won a couple jackpots and had 30% tax held back.

    From what I've read, we need to wait till the end of the year and apply for a US tax number and then file an alien (non-resident sounds so much nicer) US tax return.

    Today, we ran into a friend that said a couple years ago when this happened to her, the casino said to stop at a place at McCarren airport and get her tax back. She said she did stop and got it (all?) back. It sounds similar to H&R Block where they effectively buy your return off you for a percentage. I checked the airport shops and services and don't see anything like that listed.

    I know there are plenty of businesses out there that would do the same but my research so far has shown varying amounts of commission charged so would prefer not to do that unless it was super convenient (like at the airport) or super reasonable in commission.

    I'm hoping to hear from others as to how they handled getting their tax back. Any winners out there with advice? Thanks!
     
  2. billyinpg

    billyinpg Low-Roller

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    I don't know if it's actually in McCarren but there are a ton of posters and signs around when you arrive and depart although I couldn't remember the name of the company if I tried. I always look at those and think I hope to have to use the service. Sadly to this date I've not.

    Might have been this place but don't hold me to it.

    Casinotaxrebate
     
  3. redsdog

    redsdog Tourist

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    Hi

    I might be able to help.

    I'm from the UK and am currently going through the same process which i think is covered by the same treaty.

    Basically I have filed a form W-7 with the IRS which should get me an ITIN number - this seems to be the equivalent of a Social Security number for non-residents.

    Once you have this I think you just file form 1040NR with that info and the
    W2G form that you goit with your win and get the tax refunded.

    Maybe its not that simple but thats my understanding of it.

    I am currently at the stage of just having sent of the forms and ID to the ITIN.

    If anyone else has done this and can throw some light on the subject it would be great.

    Cheers

    Reds
     
  4. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    It's not quite that simple, comparing the UK situation to the Canadian one.

    First of all, the UK has a tax treaty with the USA - no winnings tax for UK residents. They shouldn't have withheld the 30% in the first place.

    The basic procedure as outlined is correct though.

    Get an ITIN.

    File a 1040R. Here's the catch though - you can only claim back winnings against offsetting losses. You don't have to provide proof with your return, but they could ask for it at a later date.

    Proof is a diary, win/loss statements etc.

    Has anyone used one of the services to get back Canadian taxes claimed? I'd be interested in hearing about it.
     
  5. MoneyToBurn

    MoneyToBurn Low-Roller

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    I have to do this for last year, so I've read up a bit (comprehension may be a different thing, but here goes)-

    You do need to wait until the end of the year, because you can't apply for the ITIN without submitting a return as well. To apply for the ITIN, you have to supply an original passport (there was some other ugly option), so that means sending your passport to Uncle Sam, or doing it in person. There is a suitable place to have it done in Las Vegas, and I think there are two days during the week where they have staff set aside to provide assistance.

    It doesn't appear complicated enough to merit giving 25% to a business, and you'd still have to send your passport away. There are stringent requirements as to proving your losses, if they request it, but is doesn't seem commonly required.

    Hopefully I can stay sober/ out of the casino long enough to do it one of these times.
     
  6. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I've checked the fees for a number of outfits and they seem kind of high. Casinotaxrebate, as billyinpg suggested above, charges $150.00 plus an extra $50 per 1042-S, per yearly return. That's less than some I've seen advertised. I guess if you had a bunch of 1042's to file, it wouldn't be too bad but for just one or two wins, it could take a big bite out of the rebate. For instance, one of our tax holds was $600 so it would cost us $200 to get that back if we just had the one jackpot.

    We can't file till the end of the year so I guess we'll apply for an ITIN number and see how it goes from there.

    We are going to Vegas next week and will probably have at least 2 more trips before the end of the year so we aren't in any rush. There's always hope that we win more jackpots and that would lower the fees (percentage wise) for the rebate if we used a rebate company to do this.

    I'd also forgotten as Shifter mentioned that Canadian's have to be able to prove they lost at least the amount of the tax rebate in order to trigger the tax refund. That sounds easy but it's a very good point to make sure you document your trips and make sure you get the win/loss statement from the casinos at the end of the year. I always track how much we leave and come back with but I doubt that's good enough for the tax man (if he asks). We'll have to start keeping better track for our next 3 trips.

    I'd still love to hear from anyone else if they have been through this.
     
  7. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I missed your reply while I was posting the one above.

    That's the real problem - trying to understand all the fine print the government throws at you. I've yet to find a site where it's all on one page, instead they give you a tidbit and then ask you to refer to subsection 9837(b)(iii) in another document. I have so many pages bookmarked now it's ridiculous. I recall reading something about passports but thought I read we could send in a notorized copy (another cost). We could not survive for 2 months without our passports if we had to send them in! I guess I'll be doing some more research tonight to find out about the Las Vegas office and see if we could do it there. I don't recall hearing of that so I thank you for the tip! I'll also have to check on what you said about filing the tax return at the same time as getting an ITIN, I missed that subsection too.

    Still, I'm not complaining. As far as problems to have, this ones not so bad! I just wish it was a little less complicated to figure out the solution.
     
  8. Julie888

    Julie888 High-Roller

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    It's all crazy.

    Come to the US and gamble (and likely lose because that's generally how gambling goes).

    If you win you also have to have lost more than you won to get the amount back what was withheld.

    Therefore you are destined to lose or if you win it had better not be too much.

    Am I missing something here?

    At times I wonder why I gamble in Vegas other than the fact I love the place.

    Gambler, you can get an ITIN in many cities in the US. You don't have to do it in Vegas though likely they are more familiar. I got mine there but it was many years ago.
     
  9. Vegas-TT

    Vegas-TT Tourist

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    I live in Calgary and got my ITIN about 5 years ago. We have a US Consulate in the city, so I took my documents (passport) and forms in person and they "certified" them for me. I believe there was no charge. After that, I submitted it with my first US Tax return and got my refund.

    If you can find a US Consulate where you live you don't have to worry about mailing in your passport.

    Once you have your ITIN, you submit a US Tax return every year you have a withholding to claim, as long as you have a loss to offset (as Flusher mentioned).

    Luckily (or unlucky) for me, I've made a claim every year because my losses have been greater.....but like Julie888 says, I love Vegas!
     
  10. redsdog

    redsdog Tourist

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    RoyalFlusher

    Yeah i thought that was correct and tried explaining that when I won but no joy and they deducted the 30% tax.

    I wasn't 100% sure so when they told me they had to take the tax repeatedly I just accepted it. So if it happens again so long as I have my passport available there is no reason they should withhold tax?

    Cheers

    Reds
     
  11. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Regarding the ITIN - when I did this, I applied for and received the ITIN before submitting the tax return.

    At that time, you didn't need to send your documentation anywhere - you could provide a notarized copy. And it had to be notarized by a US notary public.

    This turned out to be surprisingly easy - most strip casinos have notary publics on site.

    We used one at Luxor, cost $25 or something each. Then we sent those copies in with our ITIN application and it all came back ok.

    Then I did the 1040R.
     
  12. dernsky

    dernsky Low-Roller

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    i use RMS refund management , i have used them three times. well worth it. give them a call 1 855 333 3208. one more thing for you guys that think if you dont show id, you dont pay the 30 % wrong!!! they wont pay you with out id. :beer:
     
  13. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Well I've learned a lot in the past 12 hours! I'll share what I've found so far...it sounds pretty easy too...

    To avoid having to send my passport away, I need to take my passport to a passport office and have them provide me with a certified copy. This will take 1-2 days. As of 5 days ago, this service was free at any passport office. As of July 1, 2013 they are now charging $45 :cry:

    If you don't have a passport office close to you, you could also take it to a Certified Acceptance Agent (list found here for all countries -
    http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Acceptance-Agent-Program). It turns out I have a certified agent living across the road and down 3 blocks. He's only a dog-walk away! But...he charges $350 to sign his name and stamp my passport copy. $45 at the passport office doesn't sound too bad anymore.

    Once I have my certified copy, I need to apply for an ITIN - individual taxpayer identification number. Form found here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf

    Next, I need to file a 2013 tax return next year (http://www.irs.gov) The tax return, ITIN application and certified passport copy all get mailed in at the same time. I do not need to send in proof of my gambling losses but must have them available if asked.

    The rules for this whole process have changed within the past year or so. There was a time you could have your passport notorized but that's no longer the case. Anyhow, the whole thing sounds rather easy now that it's sorted out. Hopefully we all have this problem sometime soon!

    One more thing - you have 3 years to file an income tax return so for the cost of certifying your passport ($45) you can get your money back. That's way cheaper than using a tax service.

    BTW - I'm referring to myself but it's really my husband who has to do this. It was just easier to write this way.

    Hopefully this info is reasonably correct and useful to someone. And remember this is for Canadians only and the rules for other countries are different. For instance in some countries, you need your ITIN first and then send in your tax notice, also not all countries have to prove their gambling losses to be eligible for a refund.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  14. jackepot

    jackepot Tourist

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    For Canadians that havent filed a US tax return to recoup income tax deducted- Good news. I went today to put in an application for a certified copy of my passport and the $45.00 is not in effect yet! So hopefully I get my passport back before Oct 14-Thanksgiving Canada or Columbus Day USA. Cuz that is when my flight leaves for Sin City.:beer:
     
  15. redzone

    redzone Low-Roller

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    Thanks for all this info and doing the legwork to find it all. I am going to give it a go and see what happens.
     
  16. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the tip jackepot. Getting our certified copy has been on our "get around to it someday" list but I've now got it on Monday's list. Might as well save the fee if we can. And if it's still free, I'll get both our passports done just in case!

    Redzone, hope the info works like it's supposed to. Once sorted out it seems simple enough. We're waiting till the end of the year in anticipation of a few more jackpots before December. Gotta have faith right?! Please keep us posted if you get any tips or have any problems.
     
  17. redzone

    redzone Low-Roller

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    Gambler: I think the hardest part will be filling in the actual tax form but we will try it and see. I have receipts from the last two years and we are going to vegas for 5 nights in November and of course we will hit a few jackpots:beer: so I may as well get prepared.

    I will post on here how I make out when it happens.
     
  18. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Just an update...

    So we took our passports in today to request certified copies and they aren't charging yet. (Thanks for the tip Jackepot, you just saved us $90!! :beer:) She wasn't sure exactly when they will start charging but said it would probably be soon. They were supposed to start charging July 1st so maybe they are giving 3 months grace.

    Since they are still free, I decided to get a certified copy for myself as well. And the lady suggested we ask for 2 copies each since the IRS doesn't return them to you. Our passports expire at the end of 2014 so we are covered for when we win those big jackpots next year. Thinking positive thoughts here!

    The website said it takes 2 days if you take it directly to a passport office. Turns out that's not correct. It takes 10 days if we go back to the office and pick them up and 20 days if we would like them mailed to us. Luckily we don't need our passports till November so that was fine.

    So if anyone has been meaning to get around to doing this, you should do it pretty quick. And be sure to ask for at least 2 copies. And if you have to mail your passport in, plan for about 25-30 days turnaround time.
     
  19. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    The IRS sent me back my certified passport copy. I did RMS for a small win in 2009 and it went fairly smoothly allthough now that I have an ITIN I'm not sure it isn't worth a couple hours effort to do my own taxes.
     
  20. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    I did deal with this issue back in 2008, which is the last time I had a really lucky year. I did not deal with it in Vegas. I came home and starting trying to figure it all out. It sounded pretty complicated to me so I just went to a lawyer and asked how much they would charge me to take care of all this. They were about to charge me $90 until they realized I used to work for them years ago so they cut it back to $50. They took care of everything. Just the way I like it!
     
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