So, you aced your DraftKings fantasy lineup and scored a big win! Congratulations! But before you go on a celebratory shopping spree, there’s one important detail to consider: taxes. Yes, even your DraftKings winnings are subject to taxation by the good ol’ IRS.

Why You Gotta Pay Taxes on Winnings

Think of it this way: DraftKings isn’t giving you free money. They’re facilitating a gambling competition, and just like any other form of gambling winnings (think casinos, horse races), the IRS sees it as taxable income.

How Much Tax Do I Owe?

The good news is, you don’t need a tax degree to figure this out. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Track Your Net Winnings: This is the key! You only pay taxes on your net profit, which means your total winnings minus any entry fees you paid.
  • Tax Rate: The tax rate you pay depends on your total taxable income for the year. It falls under the same income tax brackets as your regular income. So, if you’re in a lower tax bracket, you’ll owe a smaller percentage.

How Do I Report My Winnings?

DraftKings will typically send you a Form 1099-MISC if you win $600 or more in a year. This form will report your total winnings to the IRS and to you.

  • If You Get a 1099-MISC: You’ll need to include the amount shown on the form in your tax return under “Other Income.”
  • No 1099-MISC? No Problem: Even if you don’t receive a form, you’re still responsible for reporting all your gambling winnings, including DraftKings.

Example Time: Let’s Do the Math

Imagine you win $1,000 on DraftKings but spent $200 on entry fees throughout the year. Your net profit is $1,000 – $200 = $800.

Now, let’s say you fall under the 10% tax bracket for your total taxable income for the year. This means you’d owe $80 (0.10 x $800) in taxes on your DraftKings winnings.

Also Read: 1040 vs. W-2 – Don’t Let Them Confuse You Anymore!


This is a simplified example, and your tax situation might be different. It’s always best to consult a tax professional if you have any doubts or have significant winnings.

By keeping good records of your net winnings and reporting them accurately, you can avoid any tax headaches later and enjoy your DraftKings victory with peace of mind!

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