Keeping a log book of ones winnings may be the right thing to do. But keeping track of losses? No one wants to be reminded of how much personal money was lost in the casinos. No one really cares except the IRS or Internal Revenue Service.
Unknown to many gamblers, when a player wind any jackpot or any amount for that mater that exceeds $1,200.00, casinos are required to let the winner fill out a form known as the W-2G form that can be used when foiling for taxes when tax month comes.
The IRS requires that all casinos who report wins over $1,200 on any type of casino game be required to register their winnings. The IRS allows players a certain amount of deductible amount equivalent to ones losses up to the amount of winnings. The form requires that a player to fill out their names, address, and social security number. The casino would also require valid forms of identification before releasing such winnings.
Even if a player has filled up the W-2G form, the player still has to keep an accurate track of their loses so that it can be properly noted. Many cases have happened wherein players who could not prove their loses were charged the full extent of taxes.
A copy of the logbook or records is required to be submitted to the IRS must contain the following information:
1) The serial number of the machine played. 2) The date, time, and location where game took place. 3) A written series of notes on wins and losses for each session or game. 4) Additional proof of gambling such as receipts, comps certificates etc.
The log book must be as accurate as possible and should be ready at all times for inspection purposes. Players are advised to transfer these information to a computer spreadsheet program but a handwritten log would do as well. Some states may require a specific format for reporting casino wins and losses so consulting a tax professional would be the next best thing.
Players are advised not to wait for the first jackpot to start a log. Logs should be taken at the earliest opportunity so that more taxes can be cut from the information.
Another reason why log books are vital is that aside from tax purposes, it lets the player keep track of their performance during certain times of the game and which games give them the most winnings or loses.
Keeping a log helps players keep an honest perspective on how much money was lost or gained in the past. It allows players to assess their skill levels and adjust accordingly.