Must all gambling winnings and losses be reported on my tax return?

by Joseph G. Tropiano II, CPA | Feb 07, 2018

I have a question regarding gambling income/losses. I have various W-2Gs in 2017 totaling $50,000. However, looking at my bank statements, I have $150,000 in winnings and $200,000 in losses. On my return, would I report $50,000 in income and $50,000 in losses, or would I report $150,000 in winnings and $150,000 in losses? Many of the "winnings" are below the W-2G threshold, but I read that all winnings have to be reported. Would having itemized deductions of additional $150,000 for current-year losses be a red flag when I never itemized before?

You should report all gambling winnings and losses. Your losses can only be deducted to the extent of winnings.

There are separate rules for a professional gambler. If you are one, I recommend you consult a CPA for reporting guidance.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

Answered by: Joseph G. Tropiano II, CPA, is with Siana, Carr, O’Connor & Lynam LLP in Paoli, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice. The ideas are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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