NTRA Letter on Tax Modernization

By Alex Waldrop, NTRA
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Apr. 22, 2015) -- We at the NTRA recognize that the engine that drives every aspect of our business and sport is pari-mutuel wagering. That's why it is extremely important for our industry that the United States Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced that they will examine the way winning pari-mutuel wagers are treated for tax reporting and withholding purposes.

The NTRA is asking Treasury and the IRS to modernize the way they calculate the amount wagered for purposes of withholding and reporting by including in that calculation all money bet by an individual into a single pool. This regulatory change would eliminate a high percentage of reporting and withholding tickets and could increase pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing by as much as 10%, or $1 billion, in year one alone, according to Steve Crist of the Daily Racing Form. Increased handle will lead to higher purses and added strength in our bloodstock markets.

On Tuesday, April 21, the NTRA issued a news release announcing that we have submitted our official response to a request from Treasury and the IRS for comments on this important regulatory proposal. We now are encouraging industry members like you to submit your comments to the Treasury and IRS. Tell them 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relating to withholding and reporting of winning pari-mutuel wagers because the current method is unfair and outdated. The NTRA has created a simple, customized message for you to submit directly to the Treasury. Simply go to www.ntra.com/IRScomment to join others in supporting this cause. 

Thanks very much in advance for lending your voice to this important effort.
Alex Waldrop

P.S. Horseplayers already have played an important role in this tax initiative. Judy Wagner, 2001 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Champion and the horseplayers' representative on the NTRA Board of Directors, and Chris Larmey, a nine-time qualifier to the NHC and Chairman of the Players' Committee, visited Washington earlier this year to represent horseplayers in an important meeting with a high-ranking official of the U.S. Treasury. That meeting was part of an NTRA-coordinated effort that led to the decision by Treasury to examine the way winning pari-mutuel wagers are treated for tax reporting and withholding purposes.