US casino tax treaties

Throughout our many years as tax preparers, notably because our completely bilingual service targeting Francophone customers as well as Anglophones, we often have been contacted by overseas citizens concerning tax laws relative to gambling wins in the United States. Notably, we have been contacted regularly by French citizens who, to our huge surprise we must say, had been taxed on their US gambling win. All these winners had, like Canadian winners, seen the IRS tax them at 30% in American soil.

Why were these requests surprising? Simply because, contrary to Canada, France signed a treaty with the United States allowing them to skip the 30% withholding tax. For your information, here is a list of all the countries whose residents are not subject to this withholding tax from the US casinos:
  • – South Africa
  • – Germany
  • – Austria
  • – Belgium
  • – Bulgaria
  • – Czech Republic
  • – Denmark
  • – Spain
  • – Finland
  • – France
  • – The Netherlands
  • – Hungary
  • – Ireland
  • – Iceland
  • – Italy
  • – Japan
  • – Latvia
  • – Lithuania
  • – Luxemburg
  • – Russian Federation
  • – Slovakia
  • – United Kingdom
  • – Slovenia
  • – Sweden
  • – Tunisia
  • – Turkey
  • – Ukraine

The main reason behind these treaties is to avoid double taxation on the amounts in two different countries.

However, merely mentioning your nationality will not be enough all the time, depending on the casino and their level of competency on that subject, and on the zeal of its employees. In order to avoid getting taxed and to keep the whole amount when you win in the United States, as a citizen of one of the aforementioned nations, you should carry with you a few filled out copies of Form W-8BEN. This form is exactly what you need in order to establish your status and your benefits from the treaty between your country and the United States. Upon reception of this document, the withholding agent (the casino) will have all the required paperwork to let you leave with the full amount of your gain. In fact he will be legally required to give you the full amount.

However, if we have been contacted so often- and by someone likely in your situation if you are reading this article- you might just now be learning after the fact that you should not have been taxed. In such a case, is it still possible to retrieve that money? The good news is that, just like for our Canadian customers, it is absolutely possible to recover this amount. While the method is different, French citizens as well as citizens from all the countries listed before have the advantage of being automatically eligible for a full refund.

With the numerous requests received in the last few years, we have developed the required expertise to help our French neighbors just as well as we do for our Canadian customers. While we hope you are reading this before having won an amount subjected to American gambling taxes, if such is not the case, fill up this contact form. It will be our pleasure to analyse your case for free and to support you in this proceeding. After all, in this internet age, frontier don’t mean a lot! 

We will never charge you a single dollar until you have received your refund


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