I received my win/loss statement from the casino. It showed three columns:
Total W/2G = $30,000 Slot Win = $1,800 Total Win = $1,800
I called the casino as I couldn't make sense of it--I won $30,000 but ended the year with only $1,800 in winnings. The customer service people told me that I had won the $30,000 and then put it back and lost it. But after losing it, I managed to then win $1,800. My question is this: on my tax form I show $30,000 as W2G winnings. Then on my itemized deductions, I show my losses as $30,000 minus the $1,800 win. Am I right? I'm trying to be aboveboard and honest with the IRS, but these figures just confuse me.
Can you help?
I think you're got a handle on the win/loss statement. As you played, some of your winnings required W-2Gs and the total of those winnings is Total W/2G. That number doesn't take into account any of your losses or even the amount you had to bet to get those W-2Gs.
Taking into account all the money you bet and all your other losses and winnings, you ended the year with a net win of $1,800. This is the number you should really have to declare because it accurately represents how well you did at the casino. But I suppose very few people would declare gambling winnings without the W-2G (How many people who live in a state with a sales tax pay the use tax they're supposed to pay on out-of-state purchases?), so we're stuck with our split system of declaring some winnings on one line and an adjustment to represent reality on another.
You should consult a professional tax preparer to ensure your return is prepared correctly.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
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