Sports betting and the Treasury: Do they have to be declared?

One of the most common doubts among people who participate in sports betting is whether or not they must be declared to the Treasury and what is the minimum amount to do so. In this article we focus on answering this question so that there are no doubts about it and so that you can play your bets with peace of mind. Let's get to it!

Do I have to declare winnings on sports bets?

The Treasury is a public agency whose purpose is to propose, direct and control the Federal Government's policy on financial, fiscal, spending, income and public debt matters. In other words, it is the institution in charge of obtaining the necessary monetary resources to finance the activities of the State. It is for this reason that many products, as well as activities, are regulated by taxes that must be declared to the Treasury, since otherwise a tax fraud or tax offense may be incurred. Sports betting is no less, however, with exceptions. In any case, you should know that there are taxes for sports betting. 

When to declare bets?

If you obtain winnings through sports betting, it is important that you know that these must be declared to the Tax Authorities. However, there are some limits in which it is not necessary to do so when filing your INCOME tax return. Sports bets are subject to the Personal Income Tax (IRPF), that is to say, they must be indicated when filing your annual INCOME tax return, since they are considered for tax purposes as capital gains -one of the five sources established by the organization to manage the State's expenses-. These are the cases in which gambling winnings must be declared:

  • When an annual profit of more than €1,600 is obtained in general.
  • When the annual profit obtained is higher than 1,000 euros in cases in which the declarant receives income from work for an amount higher than 22,000 euros per year or 14,000 euros in the case of having several payers throughout the year.

Of course, when considering a profit in sports betting declarable before the tax authorities, you must also consider the amount you have invested and subtract the amount you have won. In other words, only the net winnings are considered. The same does not happen with the bonuses offered by the bookmaker, in these cases they do have to be declared. That is to say, as long as you have used it and obtained a profit with it. 

How much taxes do I have to pay for sports betting in Spain?

You already know in which cases you have to pay taxes for betting (declare Hacienda), but it is important to know that you do not always pay the same percentage, it varies depending on the amount you have obtained. The range therefore depends on the winnings:

  • From 0 to 12,450 euros: 19%.
  • From 12,450 to 20,200 euros: 24%.
  • From 20,200 to 35,200 euros: 30%.
  • From 35,200 to 60,000 euros: 37%.
  • More than 60,000 euros: 45%.

Of course, sports betting taxes are higher as the amount of profits received increases. However, the IRPF is a progressive tax, which means that its global computation is taxed by brackets.

Bets to be declared to the Tax Authorities: How to do it?

Making an INCOME TAX return can be complex due to the large number of concepts and elements that come into play when filling in the form, which can be accessed from the Tax Authorities website within the deadline for each year. Now, to declare the winnings from bets you must take into account the box 282 of the draft. In it you must reflect the total amount of the cash prizes of your bets. In box 290, on the other hand, you will see reflected the income from bets and online games (the difference between the winnings and losses of boxes 288 and 289). This is the result of the net capital gains derived from these games. In any case, you must know that the state organism offers help to make the RENTA declaration, for this you must request previous appointment through the ways enabled in the web page. In this way you will be able, for example, to make the income tax return in person or by telephone with the advice of a public official.

What is the penalty for not paying taxes on sports betting?

The Treasury may estimate one penalty or another depending on the amount that has been defrauded to the state. It is important to take into account that, in case of not having declared these taxes, the fine for not complying with the tax obligation can reach up to 100% of the winnings obtained. If you do not include the winnings from online betting and gambling in your tax return, the Tax Authorities can open an inspection to which they have easy access thanks to your DNI or NIE.

How many gamblers are there currently in Spain and how much does the Treasury collect from online gambling?

According to the latest report on the profile of the online gambler by the General Secretariat of Consumption and Gaming of the Ministry of Consumption, there are a total of 1,470,303 active gamblers in Spain. Moreover, 77.3% of them do so through betting, being sports betting the most common modality (with approximately 1,136,399 players). The report also shows that the number of players has increased with respect to last year, specifically by 8.76%, with young people between 18 and 25 years old being the ones who participate the most. On the other hand, the total revenue obtained by the Treasury from taxes on gambling and betting is approximately 1,600 million per year to be distributed among the different administrations.

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