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Is it true that you can claim your loosing lottrey tickets on your tax

bigato1010's avatar - army

How much can  you cliam ? How does it work ?

showme3's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
In response to bigato1010

Yes it is true, but you can't claim more losses than your winnings.  Go figure....

Check out the IRS website for more information.  Just do a search undar Gambling winnings.



justxploring's avatar - villiarna

How much did you win, bigato1010?  I think you can search for this information on LP.

First of all, you must itemize your earnings in the first place to deduct anything at all.  Many people just take the standard deduction, depending on their income and (to be redundant) the amount of deductions they have.  For example, if I made $25,000 and didn't own a home or have unusually high medical bills, using the 1040EZ form and taking the standard deduction might make more sense.

Second, you can only deduct up to the amount you won during the year to even consider deducting them. 

Third, the IRS realizes that anyone can just grab a bunch of scratch-offs out of the trash, so you are supposed to keep a daily/weekly log of your purchases stating where & when you bought the tickets.  However, the chances of being audited by the IRS are very slim UNLESS you raise a red flag.  One flag might be deducting a very disproportionate amount of lottery tickets from a small win.


here is one LP discussion:

bigato1010's avatar - army

Thank you justxploring , loosing tckets i was talking about .  Good to know really appreciate your insight. 

sfilippo's avatar - skull


Thanks from me too. It's good to know that just in case I win something.

justxploring's avatar - villiarna

Thanks, for the thanks!  LOL

Keep in mind, I am not a tax specialist, so you might want to check the IRS rules, which change regularly.  I only know what I've learned from reading in the past.   The form is W2-G, I believe.  Unfortunately, I've never won enough to file one.


Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg

Don't forget to check for your own state rules (assuming you have to fill out a state income tax form) also.  They can operate separately.  As I understand it, for instance, here in WI the state used to let us deduct losses up to the amount of winnings (which really makes no sense other than to let them know who is a gambler) but they no longer allow any kind of gambling deduction for lottery.

If your profession was actually "Professional Gambler" and you listed that on the tax forms, I'm not sure what is deductible.  (remember there are people out there that do it for a living)

justxploring's avatar - villiarna

Thanks, Badger.  I would never have thought about the state tax since I live in FL. 


"If your profession was actually "Professional Gambler" and you listed that on the tax forms, I'm not sure what is deductible.  (remember there are people out there that do it for a living) "


I'm now wondering if I can call myself a professional blogger. 

Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
Coin Toss
In response to justxploring

Most professional gamblers are poker players and sports bettors. The poker players deduct entry fees, travel expenses, etc... 

Good question about professional bloggers! I'm sure there are those who call themselves that.

LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif

I understand about only being able to file deductions equal to or less than your winnings. also keeping logs, records, and reciepts on all transactions is always a neccesity.

I at one time was self employed. so my question.

are lottery winnings subject to self employment tax?.

(this would mean that you pay your half of your social security taxes, (just like you do on the job now) plus the employers half? (which is now paid for you, by the company you work for)

or is it just like recieving an ordinary paycheck where a percentage is taken out? 

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk

Professional gamblers (people earning a living by gambling) can deduct more than people who gamble or play the lottery for entertainment.  Lottery winnings is treated like regular income and regular lottery players can only claim losses up to the amount they claimed as winnings. 

States only track and make out a WG-2 forms for winnings of $600 or more so players have to keep their own records of smaller winnings and add them to their yearly income if they wish to pay taxes on them.

KY Floyd
In response to LottoAce

Social security / self employment taxes only apply to earned income.  Gambling winnings, interest and dividends, or income from a rental property are generally not earned income. For a professional gambler, winnings are earned income. Some rental income may be considered earned income if renting property amounts to a business, or the owner performs services that would reasonably increase the rental income or reduce expenses.

bashley572's avatar - starwars14

And in anticipation of the big win each year, I keep ALL my lossing tickets so I have my proof cuz with out proof the government is not going to let you take the deduction. 

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