Are Contest Prizes of Cash Taxable in Canada?


The question about having to claim cash contest prizes won to Revenue Canada comes up a lot. There are many things we do online that have to be claimed to Revenue Canada. Things such as completing surveys or earning any money online need to be claimed.

Are My Cash Prizes in Canada Taxable?

When it comes to winning the lottery in Canada it's much the same as winning cash prizes and gift cards. Almost all cash winning and non-taxable. There are a few circumstances where there will be taxes.

If you win money on a Canadian lottery such as 649 or Lotto Max, these are not taxable wins. Prizes won are much in the same. They are windfalls. Windfalls are never taxable in Canada.

When You May Be Taxed on Winnings

If you win a work contest and get a cash award or even a gift card, those are considered taxable and have to be claimed on your taxes.

If you put your prize money in the bank and it earns interest, the interest itself is taxable.

If you win a cash prize or a large sum gift card in a contest, you do not have to claim it on your taxes as cash prizes aren't taxable.

Disclosure : This is not financial advice. Always talk to a tax professional before filing your taxes. Tax laws change all the time, so make sure at the time of your filing you tell your tax person about your prize winnings.

NOTE: If you are on ODSP or Social Assistance you DO need to claim any and all cash prize winnings to your worker. You are allowed to win a total of $10,000 in a year before it effects your income. 

Wishing You Good Luck!