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All bets off: March Madness winnings must be reported to IRS

PHOENIX — A lot of people are keeping tabs on their March Madness brackets in hopes of bringing home some extra spending cash, but that money is taxable.

There are millions of Americans with millions of March Madness brackets — and billions of dollars for the Internal Revenue Service on the line.

“Any winnings of any sort of gambling activity are something that you need to report to the IRS as miscellaneous income,” Stephanie Fierro, senior council for Frutkin Law Firm, said.

The good news, she said, is you can deduct losses up to the amount of your winnings, to break even.

“You are required to report all income,” she said. “Whether it is legally-derived income or illegally-derived income.”