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Table Games My first handpay and "jackpot" (!!!) - pictures and questions

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by raisingoo, Oct 29, 2012.

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  1. raisingoo

    raisingoo Low-Roller

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    Was in Vegas last week. I am usually very much a lowroller/microroller. USUALLY. Playing at my usual low level (ahem), one can't win much... especially on, say, $5 blackjack or quarter VP, for example. Certainly not enough to trigger a handpay/W2G form.

    But I did decide to play Megabucks, with hopes and dreams of winning the (as it was then) $16,011,137.33 jackpot. Oh, man, wouldn't that be sweet!

    Of course, if I *HAD* won the $16M+ jackpot, I'd be seeking the advice of a tax professional instead of posting here....

    But as it stands, after a dozen or so spins at $3 each, I hit this beauty:

    DoubleBar-Megabucks4X-5X

    which pays 1,200 credits... at $1 per credit, that's $1,200, the bare minimum for a W2G handpay.

    My line of thinking is that three DoubleBar symbols on this machine is 60 credits total, but with the two multipliers I have in second and third position put that up to 20X (because 4X and 5X make 20X, right?), and 60 * 20 = 1,200. Sounds logical?!?

    I immediately had mixed feelings. Woohoo! But...

    Pro: A big jump for my usual bankroll. Basically, a FREE vacation for me!
    Con: Not a "huge" hit, by any means... and I have to pay taxes on it!!!

    After only 3 or so minutes, a first casino employee came to the machine, put a "Jackpot in progress" sign on the machine, and asked me for my ID and other questions. He left with my ID.

    10 minutes later, two different casino employees came and made me sign forms, gave me some copies of a W-2G form, and then paid me twelve (12) $100 bills. I tipped each of them $20 ($40 total), so my "hit" ended up being only $1,160 after tokes. They both thanked me. Some of you might think that this was a nice gesture and a good tip for each, for their few minutes of work. Others might say I am stingy. But I'm not posting to debate the proper tip...

    I am including some pictures (first two) of the event, as attachments. One was immediately taken as the machine was still counting up the credits. The second was during the "Jackpot in progress."

    The third picture is the twelve $100 bills, spread out back in my hotel room.

    So, some questions I have. Pardon my ignorance, since this is my first W-2G event, and alll my gambling up to now has not included such a hit.

    1) I am a U.S. citizen and file a 1040 form with the IRS each and every year. Do I include this W2-G on line 1 with my other W-2 form(s)? Or do I put the $1,200 somewhere else (if so, which line)?

    2) What am I looking for, in terms of an estimated tax liability? I know this depends on which tax bracket I am in. I'm not a huge earner, by any means. But it'll probably be, oh, maybe, 20%, I would think? Any opinion? ($1,200 less 20%... means I'm paying $240 in taxes on this.)

    3) I've read in places that (and correct me if I am wrong) that you are liable for taxes on your gambling *WINNINGS* only up to the amount of your gambling *LOSSES*, per the IRS tax code. Can someone explain that to me? Luckily, I keep detailed spreadsheets of my gambling winnings/losses. For example, so far for the current tax year, my gambling losses (even including this winning) total about $600. This includes two trips to Vegas and one to a "local" Indian casino in Niagara Falls. So, does this mean I am only "liable" to pay taxes on $600 instead of $1,200? If so, how do I file taxes this way? Is Schedule A involved somehow? Please help!

    Any responses would be appreciated.

    Thanks for reading.

    Two bonus pictures are included, but have no relevance to the above-- but are more geared towards my normal gaming habits:

    * A hit on quarter VP: 4 kings on White Hot Aces (Oh, man, Aces would have been better)

    * A straight flush on quarter VP (9/6 JoB)... haven't gotten a royal yet, so this is the best I've done on that so far
     

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  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    great to get a big score, but brutal to hit it right on the head at $1200. :(

    as far as your tax questions, you'll ask 10 people here and probably get 10 different answers. and even if you happened to get the same answer from everyone, there's a good chance that everyone is wrong anyway.

    all you need to do is hand the W2-G to your accountant and he'll know what to do. additionally if you want to claim losses, you'll need to tell him that also and he'll advise you about what he needs from your spreadsheet, etc for the deductions. on the off chance that you actually do your own taxes *shudder* it will be well worth a few bucks to talk to a tax professional and get the scoop on exactly what you need to do.

    here's some good info, though: http://www.taxslayer.com/support/631/What-is-a-W-2G-Gambling-Winnings-View-sample-form?language=1&page=12
     
  3. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Your gambling winnings go on line 21.

    You're only going to be able to claim the losses if you itemize. It would go on your schedule A. But if you're not itemizing because you get a better deduction from the standard deduction, $600 isn't likely to make a dent.

    Pub 525 is the governing regulation for gambling winnings. Pub 529 is the regulation that covers miscellaneous losses. Just in case you want to reference it.

    Edit: Just saw Shifter's post. I do my own taxes. I'm a degenerate gambler. I'm definitely sure that I'm right, because I've had it checked by a pro in the past, and it's pretty basic.

    Just to back it up: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc419.html
     
  4. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    I got excited about a $250 handpay on a Black Widow machine in St Joseph Missouri once. $1200 and I woulda been giddy for a year. Congrats.
     
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  5. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I believe Shifter runs/owns a business so I can understand needing/wanting an accountant.

    For me, I've used Turbo Tax for over a dozen years w/o a problem, or audit request.
     
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  6. raisingoo

    raisingoo Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the quick replies from all of you.

    I do (yes, shudder) my own taxes each year, and have for basically forever. They really aren't that hard for my situation, which is: single, no kids, no business... single W2 until now... I own a house, but that just means Schedule A for mortgage interest/real estate deductions. Filling out Schedule A (i.e. itemizing) gives me a higher deduction than the standard deduction.

    Paying an acccountant or tax professional wouldn't be frugal or necessary in my case.

    Didn't know about line 21. Will use that. Thanks for the advice. If I can reduce my tax liability 50% for this "jackpot" legally via Schedule A, that's useful to know.
     
  7. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    You can file gambling losses as a misc deduction on schedule A, only up to the amount that you win gambling. But the requirements for documentation of losses are pretty stringent, so make sure you read Pub 529.
     
  8. imwired

    imwired Low-Roller

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    you can call the casino(s) you've played at during the year in January and ask them to send you a statement showing your lossses to offset the win on your taxes
     
  9. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    i thought everyone knew that's not accepted by the IRS as proof of loss. you have to keep your own detailed records.
     
  10. bluerider

    bluerider Low-Roller

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    If you happen to bet on sports and find yourself needing/wanting to provide proof of losses, I suggest you make a habit of saving every losing sports bet ticket you ever place. File 'em away by year, with all your other tax forms.

    And while *I* would never do such a thing, you can always find quite a few losing sports and horseracing tickets all over the floor, etc. of any book or track.

    Additionally, if you are a poker player and play tournements, you will likely receive a receipt for your registration. That buy-in can be counted towards your losses as well, so save those tourney receipts!
     
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Their is debate based on real life responses as to using win/loss statement. Just going by posts, not the regs. Personally, I have used an account twice to do taxes. Both times I had to correct things. Use Turbotax and save the expense.

    Congrats on your win.

    One BIG thing WRONG with the pictures. I would never, ever have made it all the way back to the room with ALL of the cash to take a picture.

    LOL!
     
  12. imwired

    imwired Low-Roller

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    I used it with my CPA/tax person. I didn't get audited but as far as I knew it was acceptable.

    What kind of detailed records would be better? A list of dates you gambled, what you won and lost?
     
  13. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Does not matter what you gave accountant. That never went to the IRS and only sits in accountants folder. The ONLY thing that gets sent to IRS is W-2s,and your numbers. No records get sent unless asked for in an audit.
     
  14. imwired

    imwired Low-Roller

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    so are you saying that one is supposed to keep records of all their trips to casinos, what you win and lose in case you win over 1200 and then produce these logs if the IRS asks?
    this doesn't seem realistic to me
     
  15. gamblersruin

    gamblersruin Low-Roller

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    Me neither. I was reading over the 529 and the requirements seem pretty vague and silly. How is a personal diary supposed to prove anything? I would think a win/loss statement is better documentation than your handwritten "records".
     
  16. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    That was kind of my point when referencing Pub 529 earlier in the thread. It's hard to know exactly what's expected. To me, since the OP has his own records anyway, he might as well keep that AND a casino record of his losses. With both, I think it's pretty safe.
     
  17. imwired

    imwired Low-Roller

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    thank you
    in any case, I've only ever gotten on of these taxable wins so I'm not going to try to start keepinig track of all my expenses in case I get another one someday
     
  18. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I'm assuming you have lost more gambling during the year than that $1200, right? If that's the case then simply report the income and deduct the offsetting losses(you have to itemize). Therefore no taxes, period. Any requirement to produce "evidence" of said losses would only be necessary if you are audited, and that is not likely on your W-2g. If you won say $50,000 and offset it, that might draw more scrutiny, highly unlikely your situation would. Also the downside of offsetting and having an audit and them disallowing your offset because of insufficient record keeping is zero. you would only owe what you would have anyway.
     
  19. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Last few years I was in the $20-$30k of W-2's. This year it looks like well over $50k. I really hope they do not come a knockin.... I have some loose records. I could get into a long rant about how stupid this is, BUT - it is not gonna go away. So, I just keep what records I have and hope for the best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  20. Guardian

    Guardian Low-Roller

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    I'm`sure that millions`of casual gamblers do not keep records. Any year that we get a w-2 we always just claim the same amount in losses. We only play slots, always use our players cards. We check our annual losses(LOL) in our year end statements and we are never ahead, and sometimes I don't want to know.
     
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