7 unusual tax deductions

If you’re a regular at VFW bingo nights or have a favorite slot machine at the casino, you can write off your losses. But there is a catch:

"Gambling losses … can be claimed as an itemized tax deduction, but (the amount of the loss you write off) cannot exceed your gambling winnings reported on your tax return," says CPA Lisa Greene-Lewis.

In other words, if a casino issues a W-2G for winning $5,000 at a bingo game, you can write off up to $5,000 in gambling losses incurred throughout the year.

No winnings? Your losses aren’t deductible.

"There must be a lot of gamblers out there, because so many people have questions about this tax deduction and claiming gambling income," Greene-Lewis says.

If you plan to take this deduction, remember to keep meticulous records of the amount of money you spent at the poker table, slot machines and roulette wheel to support the losses you claim.

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