Policy Change Seeks to Correctly Define "The Amount of the Wager"

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 19, 2015) - With a June 2 deadline looming, only 14 days away, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is urging individuals to submit a comment to the U.S. Treasury Department in support of modernization of regulations relating to player withholding and reporting.

"Recent communications with the Treasury department indicate they are closely monitoring both the quality and quantity of comments," said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop. "The changes we seek would have a positive impact on every segment of the industry as well as state and federal governments. We urge individual fans, gamblers and other stakeholders to submit a comment through an easy-to-use electronic process available at NTRA.com/IRScomment."

Nearly 2,500 comments originating from all 50 states and the District of Columbia have already been submitted.

The changes proposed by the NTRA on behalf of its membership and the Thoroughbred racing industry would positively impact all levels of horseplayers, regardless of whether a person typically wagers $1, $100 or $1,000. For example, the amount wagered by a Pick Six player who hits with one of 140 combinations on a $1-minimum wager would be $140, which is the total amount bet into the Pick Six pool.

Currently the "amount wagered" is calculated using only the $1 bet on the single winning combination. By understating the amount wagered in this manner, the IRS is imposing significant additional reporting and withholding obligations on horseplayers while creating unnecessary paperwork for the IRS.

A clarification would directly benefit pari-mutuel customers by reducing burdensome tax obligations. The proposal also aims to lessen racing's competitive disadvantage against other forms of gaming that are not subject to such aggressive tax treatment related to reporting and withholding.

According to Daily Racing Form, redefining the way the IRS calculates the amount wagered to include all money bet by an individual into a single pool would eliminate a high percentage of the reporting and withholding tickets and could increase pari-mutuel wagering by as much as 10%, or $1 billion, in year one alone.

The NTRA has created an easy-to-use form that makes it simple for the public to submit an e-mail directly to the appropriate IRS and U.S. Treasury officials at NTRA.com/IRScomment