arcticfun
arcticfun
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April 28th, 2014 at 12:22:13 PM permalink
I'm curious what this forum thinks about the cash issue. I know about CTRs and STRs, and I know about the legalities surrounding structuring. The general goal I have is to transfer cash I win in a casino into my bank account while minimizing suspicion (both casino and government) and tax liability. Nevermind the "why" (ie, why would you deposit it in the bank if you will gamble again and need access to cash...), let's just consider the how.

I am also aware that taxing on table games, where the payout is less than 300:1 or whatever, is on the honor system. That means, you are required to declare net winnings (losses up to winning total can be deducted) on your tax form at the end of every fiscal year. In fact, even if you net lose over a whole year but have had winning "sessions", you still have to declare those wins but you deduct their full amount resulting in zero liability. But, quite seriously, most people don't go through any of this, and up to a certain point, it probably isn't worth the trouble for the IRS to follow up on suspected "evasion" from gambling winnings.

Specific issues/questions:
- Cash transactions exceeding $10k over 24h generate a currency transaction report, which requires you to disclose your name and SSN at the cage (this is whether you withdraw or deposit >$10k in cash). How do these get treated by the government agency which receives them? Specifically, does the IRS know you gamble (and will they expect your tax return to reflect some gambling) as a result of the CTR trigger?

- Depositing cash into a bank account raises flags if you do so regularly and it doesn't fit your profile. Do / should you disclose that you are a gambler or that you won money in a casino? Does that information make its way to the IRS, increasing (again) the likelihood of them expecting a gambling portion in your tax return? Or should you wait until you amassed a certain amount and file a CTR when depositing at the bank (versus doing so at the casino)?

- At what point do people here consider the tax liability issue to be serious enough to actually self-declare any casino winnings?

- At what point (how much $$) would you request a check from a cage rather than cash?
AxiomOfChoice
AxiomOfChoice
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April 28th, 2014 at 12:31:33 PM permalink
Quote: arcticfun

I'm curious what this forum thinks about the cash issue. I know about CTRs and STRs, and I know about the legalities surrounding structuring. The general goal I have is to transfer cash I win in a casino into my bank account while minimizing suspicion (both casino and government) and tax liability. Nevermind the "why" (ie, why would you deposit it in the bank if you will gamble again and need access to cash...), let's just consider the how.

I am also aware that taxing on table games, where the payout is less than 300:1 or whatever, is on the honor system. That means, you are required to declare net winnings (losses up to winning total can be deducted) on your tax form at the end of every fiscal year. In fact, even if you net lose over a whole year but have had winning "sessions", you still have to declare those wins but you deduct their full amount resulting in zero liability. But, quite seriously, most people don't go through any of this, and up to a certain point, it probably isn't worth the trouble for the IRS to follow up on suspected "evasion" from gambling winnings.

Specific issues/questions:
- Cash transactions exceeding $10k over 24h generate a currency transaction report, which requires you to disclose your name and SSN at the cage (this is whether you withdraw or deposit >$10k in cash). How do these get treated by the government agency which receives them? Specifically, does the IRS know you gamble (and will they expect your tax return to reflect some gambling) as a result of the CTR trigger?

- Depositing cash into a bank account raises flags if you do so regularly and it doesn't fit your profile. Do / should you disclose that you are a gambler or that you won money in a casino? Does that information make its way to the IRS, increasing (again) the likelihood of them expecting a gambling portion in your tax return? Or should you wait until you amassed a certain amount and file a CTR when depositing at the bank (versus doing so at the casino)?

- At what point do people here consider the tax liability issue to be serious enough to actually self-declare any casino winnings?

- At what point (how much $$) would you request a check from a cage rather than cash?



You seem to be using the term "tax liability" incorrectly.

Your tax liability is the amount of money that you owe. It doesn't change, regardless of whether the government knows about the money or not.

You seem to be asking for advice on how get away with cheating on your taxes, as well as how to structure without getting caught. I don't have good advice for either of those things, but I would generally suggest not announcing your intention to commit multiple felonies on a public forum.
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
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April 28th, 2014 at 12:44:17 PM permalink
The IRS doesn't necessarily know you gamble. They know you have income with a CTR or SAR. So it is at that point that if you are paying no taxes and lying to the IRS, that they may suspect something and audit you.
If you are below the reporting requirements, then it is probably not serious enough to involuntarily pay. Although people can still rat you out, such claims are often not taken seriously because they lack evidence and it would cost more to pursue than you actually owe. Not that it is ever a good idea to evade taxes.
If you are generating CTRs, you must report something or there is a high chance of serious consequences, bottom line.

That is about the best help you are going to get with your question, I believe. I would suggest you "structure" (pun intended) your question in a different way, maybe asking how to avoid CTRs. I don't really care if you shoot up heroine before you kidnap a school bus full of kids to keep in your dungeon; I'm not your accomplice if I tell you that drugs can be found in the streets of any metropolitan area, and that kids can be easily coaxed with candy. But others are going to come on here and hound you about committing felonies.
tongni
tongni
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April 28th, 2014 at 1:10:58 PM permalink
You should not put a bunch of money in your bank account and then hope that you are never audited. You should conduct your finances in such a way that if audited, you will not be penalized. There are over 10 million CTR's filed on a yearly basis, having one or two doesn't increase your chance of audit greatly if you pay your taxes. If you CTR for an aggregate of a million dollars and file 0 in taxes, you will be getting a letter. If you do get audited, and you have lots of unclaimed income in your bank account, or lots of assets, you are going to be very sorry.

Honestly, just pay your taxes. I would guess the accuracy of the average gambler's return is positively correlated with net winnings, IE nearly all of the guys who make 7 figures are much more honest because of the intense scrutiny they have. I can only think of one group that filed a dishonest return, and they got blasted by the IRS incredibly hard.

The other thing which you may not realize is that the casino can file SAR's on you anytime you win just because they didn't like the manner in which you won. They can SAR you because you didn't tip - all the pit boss has to do is call the cage manager. Legally, they cannot even tell you that they gave you a SAR, and while it is misuse of the form, it is in no way illegal AFAIK. I would guess most AP's have had this done to them at some point or another. All the more reason to pay your taxes.
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
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April 28th, 2014 at 3:35:32 PM permalink
Quote: tongni

You should not put a bunch of money in your bank account and then hope that you are never audited. You should conduct your finances in such a way that if audited, you will not be penalized. There are over 10 million CTR's filed on a yearly basis, having one or two doesn't increase your chance of audit greatly if you pay your taxes. If you CTR for an aggregate of a million dollars and file 0 in taxes, you will be getting a letter. If you do get audited, and you have lots of unclaimed income in your bank account, or lots of assets, you are going to be very sorry.

Honestly, just pay your taxes. I would guess the accuracy of the average gambler's return is positively correlated with net winnings, IE nearly all of the guys who make 7 figures are much more honest because of the intense scrutiny they have. I can only think of one group that filed a dishonest return, and they got blasted by the IRS incredibly hard.

The other thing which you may not realize is that the casino can file SAR's on you anytime you win just because they didn't like the manner in which you won. They can SAR you because you didn't tip - all the pit boss has to do is call the cage manager. Legally, they cannot even tell you that they gave you a SAR, and while it is misuse of the form, it is in no way illegal AFAIK. I would guess most AP's have had this done to them at some point or another. All the more reason to pay your taxes.



I'm not sure this is true. Winning is not a suspicious activity; I don't even think cheating falls under the law's purview. If a SARC like this were written up, it may be deemed not suspicious on review, and ultimately not filed. Also, if he has a day job, he pays some taxes. A couple spurious SARCs won't raise a flag. He wants to know how to evade taxes. This is just a scary sounding argument that he should due his civic duty. Like I said, no one is going to give good advice on his question...just don't evade too much.
arcticfun
arcticfun
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April 28th, 2014 at 3:41:09 PM permalink
Quote: AxiomOfChoice

You seem to be using the term "tax liability" incorrectly.

You seem to be asking for advice on how get away with cheating on your taxes, as well as how to structure without getting caught.



It's not quite that black and white. My true intention is to understand what sensible practice is before I take the whole gambling thing seriously. ie, I don't want to take money to a bank a single time and tell them I gamble, have a record of it somewhere follow me 3, 5, 10 years down the line, and have the IRS expect me to include a gambling entry on my taxes after I've quit. Honestly, the whole thing was an experiment that turned out to have better-than-expected results (me winning), and I am now toeing the line between just flirting with this hobby and being serious with it. There's no question on how to behave once I get married to it. Pun intended, lolz.

So - thoughts on value amounts? how much money would you have to have in chips before you asked for a check? (safety and mugging issues aside). Does a CTR from a casino trigger more or less interest than a CTR from a bank?
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
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April 28th, 2014 at 3:47:49 PM permalink
Quote: arcticfun

It's not quite that black and white. My true intention is to understand what sensible practice is before I take the whole gambling thing seriously. ie, I don't want to take money to a bank a single time and tell them I gamble, have a record of it somewhere follow me 3, 5, 10 years down the line, and have the IRS expect me to include a gambling entry on my taxes after I've quit. Honestly, the whole thing was an experiment that turned out to have better-than-expected results (me winning), and I am now toeing the line between just flirting with this hobby and being serious with it. There's no question on how to behave once I get married to it. Pun intended, lolz.

So - thoughts on value amounts? how much money would you have to have in chips before you asked for a check? (safety and mugging issues aside). Does a CTR from a casino trigger more or less interest than a CTR from a bank?



People carry around chips to avoid CTRs, and to avoid buying in for large amounts. It appears as if you are a small player amassing chips to eventually ask for a large check. This makes no sense. You should cash out in full every time, unless these are all excess chips from ratholing. Maybe I am getting the wrong impression.

A CTR is a CTR, does not matter who submits it. It is the number of CTRs that raises concern.
arcticfun
arcticfun
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April 28th, 2014 at 3:51:37 PM permalink
I mean, suppose you have $x in chips from a single weekend, and x > 10k. At what point would you request a check instead of cash? I've walked out of a casino with $15k before, but I cashed chips in over consecutive nights because i was staying at the hotel, so each transaction was less than 10k.

Re: CTRs, isn't there a field on that form that identifies who issues it? and when IRS sees "casino" the deduction is "gambling", whereas if the bank makes it, many other reasons can apply?
AxiomOfChoice
AxiomOfChoice
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April 28th, 2014 at 4:06:36 PM permalink
Quote: arcticfun

I mean, suppose you have $x in chips from a single weekend, and x > 10k. At what point would you request a check instead of cash? I've walked out of a casino with $15k before, but I cashed chips in over consecutive nights because i was staying at the hotel, so each transaction was less than 10k.



You probably got a CTR. If they didn't file one they aren't doing a very good job.

If you had more than $10k chips in your possession the first night, but cashed < $10k, and cashed the rest the next day, you probably took an unnecessary risk. Even if your intention wasn't to avoid a CTR, it certainly looks like that was your intention.

My advice is this:

Keep records of all your sessions. Wins and losses. When you do your taxes, add up all the wins, and enter that as gambling winnings. Add up all your losses, and enter that as gambling losses. If your wins add up to more than your losses, pay the taxes that you owe.

If you have a big win, you WANT a transaction of it going to your bank. If you have a big loss, you WANT a transaction of it going the other way. That way, if you get audited, and they look at your records (and, they will want to see records), they will see bank transactions that mirror your records. If you have a $25k loss on your record and no bank transactions or CTRs around that time, the auditor will be suspicious. Where did the money for this supposed loss come from? In this case, the CTR helps you.

Just be as honest and transparent as possible. All this cloak and dagger nonsense is likely to cause you more problems than it solves.
arcticfun
arcticfun
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April 28th, 2014 at 4:18:51 PM permalink
Fair enough. Thanks for the thoughts.

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