Reporting Gambling Income and Losses on Your Tax Return

The following article was published by the IRS.

dollar signsIf you play the ponies, play cards or pull the slots, your gambling winnings are taxable. You must report them on your tax return. If you gamble, these IRS tax tips can help you at tax time next year:

1. Gambling income. Income from gambling includes winnings from the lottery, horse racing and casinos. It also includes cash and non-cash prizes. You must report the fair market value of non-cash prizes like cars and trips.

2. Payer tax form. If you win, the payer may give you a Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings. The payer also sends a copy of the W-2G to the IRS. The payer must issue the form based on the type of gambling, the amount you win and other factors. You’ll also get a form W-2G if the payer must withhold income tax from what you win.

3. How to report winnings. You normally report your winnings for the year on your tax return as “Other Income.” You must report all your gambling winnings as income. This is true even if you don’t receive a Form W-2G.

4. How to deduct losses. You can deduct your gambling losses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The amount you can deduct is limited to the amount of the gambling income you report on your return.

5. Keep gambling receipts. You should keep track of your wins and losses. This includes keeping items such as a gambling log or diary, receipts, statements or tickets.
See Publications 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income for rules on this topic. Refer to Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions for more on losses. It also lists some of the types of records you should keep. You can download and view both on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

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About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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