How to Write Off Gambling Losses on Taxes

Billions of dollars are generated by the gambling industry each year. In many cities that are gaming-centric, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, their businesses are open twenty-four hours a day to cater to their clientèle.

People of all nations and backgrounds gamble.

Not only that, there are numerous scratch and wins, lotto, mega-million, or super lotto games carried on television, and tickets can be bought in corner stores. Because of this, the revenue generated on a daily basis is substantial.

Governments see this as an opportunity to use tax the funds and cover many fiscal costs for their country; hence the taxation on any form of gambling.

The losses from your gambling adventure are tax-deductible.

However, you can only do so if it is less than or equals your winning sum. Taxation is applied to any winnings, earnings, or losses incurred by gambling. This includes online and other activities such as card games, horse racing, bingo, slot machine, lotteries, and the online casino or gaming versions as well.

The gaming establishments are required to submit a form to the government or IRS reporting on your winnings; for that reason, it is unlikely that you can get away with not paying up.

If you pay taxes on your gambling losses or winnings, you will become familiar with a number of things. These include a Form 1040, losing lottery tickets, Form W-2G, and keeping the statements from gambling losses, and a diary on any gambling expenses or revenue.

Gambling establishments inclusive of race tracks, casinos, television contests, or lotteries are required by law to prepare and submit to the IRS a W-2G Form of any player who has earned cash, or kind from a game.

In addition, they should give a copy of this form to the winner as well.

If you win something other than cash, say a car, boat, or another type of vehicle you will need to estimate the fair market value of that item. Sometimes the businesses will include this on the W-2G form that you have been given. If this is not so, then you will need to research that value.

This may be done by going through a blue book for vehicles, or looking at other similar items, and using that cost as the value of the item.

Once you know the value, of your item, you should total your gambling losses.

This should be done for all gambling activities throughout the year. Then minus the amount you have lost from the amount you have won. The deduction cannot exceed how much you have won.

For example, if for that year you lost thirteen thousand dollars and then you won fourteen thousand five hundred dollars, you can only deduct thirteen thousand dollars. The IRS will not cover the remaining loss value.

This amount cannot be brought forward to the upcoming year either.

Another important step is to list your losses on Form 1040.

You will indicate the losses on line 28 and the winnings on line 21. Make sure you keep all your papers as proof in case you are audited.


If you are struggling with gambling addiction, there is a problem guide which you can access on this website:

Here you will find links, resources, and information on how to contact gambling assistance agencies in your area.

They offer help to the family of gamblers as well. Many families go through the problems of gambling with the gambler. They suffer from stress, depression, or just situations caused by tension.


Their assistance comes in the form of advising and helping you to deal with debt. Many persons go into financial problems because of gambling and they are there to tell you how to deal with it and recover from it.


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