The Gambler: Client hits jackpot after H&R Block Second Look®
Big winner didn’t account for losses on tax return, but H&R Block’s Second Look did
Author’s note: This feature is one of a series of success stories generally describing tax situations routinely reviewed when H&R Block takes a look at prior-year tax returns new clients either prepared themselves or had someone else file.
While the gambler may have known when to hold ‘em or when to fold ‘em – he didn’t know that the IRS allows taxpayers to offset gambling winnings with losses on the tax return. Thankfully for this taxpayer, his H&R Block tax professional knew how to deduct ‘em.
The gambler had a “substantial amount of winnings,” according to the tax professional. But when the tax professional started to review his prior year return as part of H&R Block’s Second Look review*, it seemed his previous tax preparer did not ask about nor take into account gambling losses to offset his winnings. Doing so would have lowered the overall taxable income.
By helping him calculate his gambling losses, the H&R Block tax professional reduced his taxes on his prior return and saved a considerable amount of money on his current year return.
One could say the gambler was “lucky” to have gone to H&R Block to have his prior and current tax returns prepared. Or, one may just say he was smart.
Taxpayers who prepared their returns themselves or had others prepare them can visit any of H&R Block’s approximately 10,000 U.S. offices for a free review of the three prior year returns. Those who already filed a 2015 return with someone else can also bring in their 2015 return for the free review. Taxpayers can see if an H&R Block Second Look is right for them with a free online assessment and schedule an appointment online or by calling 1-800-HRBLOCK.
* Results vary. All tax situations are different.