Many taxpayers will have gambling winnings. Be advised that these winnings cannot be ignored and there are specific ways to report the winnings and the dreaded losses. Winnings that are not reported may come back as a surprise when the IRS issues a matching report.
Another overlooked issue is to report the gambling winnings on the proper state return. If you live in Illinois and have winnings in Michigan, you may have a filing requirement in the state of Michigan.
Reporting Gambling Income and Losses on Your Tax Return
If 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.
Additional IRS Resources:
- Tax Topic 419, Gambling Income and Expenses
IRS YouTube Videos: