Reporting Contest Winnings to IRS?

Does anyone know what the rules are about winning various contests in regards to reporting the winnings (whether cash or a prize) to the IRS? Is there a minimum amount allowed that you can win that you do not have to report and declare. If so, how much is that amount? Are those smaller amounts cumulative in any given year if you happen to win more than one?


By Deeli from Richland, WA

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

Why don't you get the information you are looking for straight from the horses mouth. Visit,call or go on line to the Internal Revenue Service and ask them. You will get a legal answer. The phone number and adress is in the phone book. You can get the web page through google. Or you can call a tax attorney.

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

I was getting tired of being on hold to the IRS (both local and the 800 # for as much as 45 minutes) and then have a recording come on saying all lines are still busy, please call back, and then disconnected :-(


In case anyone else here at TF wants to view the rules about contest winnings, bartering, cash jobs (including babysitting), gambling winnings (lottery tickets are most likely considered gambling), etc. I found it online and they're all listed with instructions at this link:,,id=175963,00.html

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August 23, 20090 found this helpful

If it's a large enough amount you would have to had given your social security number to the contest administration before you received the funds. You would receive a 1099 of some sort in the next calendar year showing the amount reported to the IRS.

Virtually all income is reportable. For example our credit unions do not report interest earnings of less than $10, but it still should be shown by the recipient on their tax form. Whether you report income that is not easily trackable depends on you.

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August 25, 20090 found this helpful

Never ask the people at the IRS, anyone you speak to there is not accountable for their answers. You can always go to for correct answers to tax questions. In reference to your specific question, any amount that when added to your other income makes you have a taxable income should be reported as an above the line income item.


Even if you have no forms from the payer to back it up, you are supposed to report it. Which line specifically depends on the reporting form used.

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