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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 31, 2012.

Question

My ex-husband is required to submit his tax return to me every year since he owes me alimony which I would receive based upon a formula related to a certain amount of yearly income, should he exceed that base amount.
For the last several years he has claimed gambling winnings in excess of $100,000 with gambling losses in the same exact amount. Does he have to file form W2G with his return? I have never been given a copy of it although he includes all other supporting docs with the return I am give. Also, when must he provide the documents supporting his wins and losses to the IRS?
In addition, the return I have is not signed or dated by him. Do you think I should ask to request a copy of his return from the IRS directly, through my lawyer?

Thank you.

Answer

I assume the formula for alimony is based upon numbers on his tax return. Please double check the formula to see how the alimony is computed. If the alimony is based upon his Adjusted Gross Income, then that would include his gambling winnings and not the losses.

Depending upon the type of gambling he is engaged in, the Form W2G is generated whenever he wins $600 or more. There are higher filing requirements for bingo, slot machine, or poker tournaments.

The Form WG is not required to be attached to the tax return when it is filed. The IRS will request proof of his gambling losses if they audit his tax return. This may happen through the mail via a Correspondence Audit, which is common.

You can ask him to sign a Form 4506T to get a Transcript of his Tax Return that was filed with the IRS. The print out will be a summary of the tax return he filed with the IRS. However this would only be helpful after he files his tax return and it may take some time for the tax return to be posted in the IRS database.

You can download a copy of the form and instructions at www.irs.gov.


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