From the stands or their sofa, more than 3.8 million French people have opted for the result of a sporting event in 2020. At the last whistle, some leave, but others wrap up. gains, sometimes significant. Is this income subject to taxes? Yes and no, the tax authorities answer. Explanations.
Sports betting is popular. Either for profit, or just to liven up a game, 3.8 million The French made an online bet in 2020, according to figures from the National Gaming Authority (ANJ). Is 12% more than a year ago.
This rise in notoriety is no coincidence: according to the online gambling police, bookmakers have invested more than one 200 million euros in advertising campaigns only in 2019. And it paid off. In total, the French put more than 5.3 billion euros in 2020. A record amount.
Bettors, mostly men of under 35 yearsspend on average 237 euros per year. If you have won bets on your favorite football team, tennis player or F1 driver, should you report it on your 2022 tax return?
E-sport gives life
With the development of video game competitions, thee-sports it is now also the subject of many online bets. In terms of taxation, these are assimilated to the classic sports betting.
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Scenario 1: Your earnings are erratic
Article 92 of the General Tax Code (CGI) allows to impose as non-commercial benefits (BNC) all occupations, lucrative operations and sources of profit not related to another category of profit or income. This is what tax experts call a broom clausewhich allows the tax administration to tax a number of sources of profit that would otherwise be taxed.
However, the stakes of sports betting are a special case. Except in exceptional circumstances, the practice, even usual, of games of chance, such as sports parties, does not constitute a lucrative occupation or source of profit within the meaning of Article 92 of the CGI, due to the risk that weighs on the the player’s earnings prospects, explains Franck Demailly, AJE’s associate lawyer.
Result: In the vast majority of cases, you do not need to declare your income. And that, even if your earnings are substantial. In a decision of 21 March 1980 on horse racing betting, the Council of State had the opportunity to recall that the winnings of the bets were not taxable even though they exceeded the amount of other income. of the taxpayer. , explains Franck Demailly.
Nevertheless, the tax authorities receive their share of the revenue. Sports betting operators approved by the ANJ must pay a tax. Previously, this tax was applied to player bets. Since 2019, it has focused on the gross game revenuethat is, the difference between the sums wagered by the players and the sums paid to the winners.
This seemingly painless tax for bettors affects your chances of winning, albeit indirectly, to the extent that bookmakers like Unibet, Winamax or even Betclic pass it on in part to the odds, which therefore they are weaker in France and abroad.
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Scenario 2: Your earnings are regular
However, there is a much rarer scenario in which the revenue generated may be taxable. This is especially the case when the tax administration considers it the danger normally inherent in gambling can be eliminated or at least greatly reduced by gambling..
This is especially the case with a poker player gallon. Jurisprudence holds that a regular poker player can significantly reduce the randomness of the outcome of this game and increase their likelihood of receiving significant, regular winnings because of their experience, says Franck Demailly.
But can this reasoning be applied to? sports bettors? The answer seems less obvious. The position of a sports bettor is a little different, as even if you study probabilities and probabilities, you are still a mere spectator of the sporting event, unlike a poker player who can influence a game.
In short: the blur remains. On sports betting, there is still no consolidated jurisprudence to establish the positive law in the matter and, in particular, on the notion of exceptional circumstances that would leave the possibility of taxing the profits of sports betting, he summarizes. Franck Demailly.
However, if you earn too often and the amount of earnings is significant, the tax authorities may consider you professional gambler, in which case your earnings will become taxable. However, the assessment is made on a case-by-case basis, according to the Directorate-General for Public Finance (DGFiP), without specifying the frequency or amount from which it judges that a gambler is a professional.
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