Monthly Newsletter for September 2014

by in Newsletter on Aug. 29, 2014

IRS Tip Sheet on Gambling Income and Losses

Whether you like to play the ponies, roll the dice or pull the slots, your gambling winnings are taxable. You must report all your gambling income on your tax return. If you’re a casual gambler, odds are good that these basic tax tips can help you at tax time next year:

1. Gambling income.  Gambling income includes winnings from lotteries, horse racing and casinos. It also includes cash prizes and the fair market value of prizes like cars and trips.

2. Payer tax form.  If you win, you may get a Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, from the payer. The IRS also gets a copy of the W-2G. The payer issues the form depending on the type of game you played, the amount of your winnings and other factors. You’ll also get the form if the payer withholds taxes from what you won.

3. How to report winnings.  You must report all your gambling winnings as income. This is true even if you don’t receive a Form W-2G. You normally report your winnings for the year on your tax return as ‘other income.’

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. 


Top 10 Reasons to Visit this Summer

If you need tax help or information, your best option is to visit the website. Our many online tools and services make it easy for you to do business with the IRS. Here are ten good reasons to visit this summer:

1. Use IRS Free File.  If you still need to file your 2013 tax return, you can e-file for free by using IRS Free File through Oct. 15. If you earned $58,000 or less you can prepare and e-file your taxes using tax software for free. If you made more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms to e-file for free. This option is the electronic version of IRS paper forms.

2. Check on your refund.  The Where’s My Refund? tool is a fast and easy way to check on your tax refund. Use the IRS2Go mobile app to access it or click on the ‘Refunds’ tab on

3. Try IRS Direct Pay.  If you owe taxes, pay with IRS Direct Pay, our safe, easy and free way to pay from your checking or savings account. Just click on the ‘Pay Your Tax Bill’ link on the IRS home page.

4. Apply for an IRS payment plan.  If you can’t pay all your taxes at once, apply for an IRS Online Payment Agreement. A direct debit payment plan is a great way to pay. It has a lower set-up fee, you won’t miss a payment and you won’t get an IRS reminder to send a check each month.

5. Correct your tax withholding.  If you got a big refund or owed a large amount of tax when you filed your tax return, then you may need to change your tax withholding. To make a change, complete and give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The IRS Withholding Calculator tool can help you fill out a new Form W-4.

6. Get health care tax information.  The IRS website also has information about the Affordable Care Act tax provisions at You can visit this site for educational material that describes how the health care law tax provisions affect individuals and businesses. The pages provide information about tax provisions that are in effect now and those that will go into effect in 2015 and beyond. You can find information about the law and its provisions, legal guidance, the latest news, frequently asked questions and links to additional resources.

7. Get a tax transcript.  If you apply for a loan or student financial aid, you may need a tax transcript. Visit and use the Get Transcript tool.

8. Check out a charity.  You must donate to a qualified charity if you want to deduct the gift on your tax return. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if a charity is qualified.

9. Get answers to tax questions.  The Interactive Tax Assistant covers many common tax topics. Type in your question or search terms and it can lead you step-by-step to the answer. The IRS Tax Map gives you a single point of access to tax law information by subject. It integrates tax topics, forms, instructions and publications into one research tool.

10. Get forms and publications.  View, download and print federal tax forms and publications anytime you want.