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Category: Tax Questions

Form W-2G - Gambling Winnings and Losses

Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, lottery, raffle winnings, horse races and casinos.  It includes cash winnings and also the fair market value of prizes such as cars and trips.  If winnings are paid in installments, include in income the amount received in the tax year including interest.  If future payments are sold for a lump sum, report the amount received from the sale in the year received.  Prizes won in drawings, quiz shows, beauty contests, photo contests, etc. are taxable income but are not gambling winnings.  Prizes recognizing literary, scientific and similar accomplishments are taxable unless transferred to charity.

A payer is required to issue the gambler a Form W-2G if they receive certain gambling winnings or if you have any gambling winnings subject to Federal income tax withholding.  You must report the full amount of your gambling winnings for the year on Form 1040 regardless of whether any portion is subject to withholding.  In addition, you may be required to pay an estimated tax on your gambling winnings.

Gambling losses for the year can be deducted on Schedule A.  You cannot deduct gambling losses that are more than your winnings for the year.  You cannot reduce your gambling winnings by your gambling losses and report the difference.  You must report the full amount of your winnings as income and claim your losses (up to the amount of winnings) as an itemized deduction.  Therefore, your records should show your winnings separately from your losses.

You must keep an accurate diary or similar record of your losses and winnings.  In addition to your diary, you should also have other documentation.  You can generally prove your winnings and losses through Form W-2G or Form 5754, wagering tickets, canceled checks, substitute checks, credit records, bank withdrawals, and statements of actual winnings or payment slips provided to you by the gambling establishment.  These recordkeeping suggestions are intended as general guidelines to help you establish your winnings and losses.  They are not all-inclusive.  Your tax liability depends on your particular facts and circumstances.

Your diary should contain at least the following information:

The date and type of your specific wager or wagering activity.

The amount(s) you won or lost.

The name and address or location of the gambling establishment.

The name(s) of other person(s) present with you at the gambling establishment.

To entering Gambling Winnings in TaxSlayer Pro from the Main Menu of the Tax Return (Form 1040), select:

Income Menu

Other Income (W-2G, 2555)

Gambling Winnings (W-2G)

Select 'New'

Enter all information from Form W-2G

There is a limit of 30 W-2Gs for electronic filing.  Anything over that must be mailed in to the IRS.

To enter Gambling Losses in TaxSlayer Pro from the Main Menu of the Tax Return (Form 1040), select:

Itemized Deductions Menu

Other Miscellaneous Deductions

Gambling Losses to the Extent of Gambling Winnings

NOTE: This is a guide on entering Gambling Winnings and Losses into the TaxSlayer Pro program.  This is not intended as tax advice.

Additional Links:

Tax Topic 419 - Gambling Winnings and Losses 

Last Updated: 12/14/2017

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