Monday, May 12, 2008

Book Review: "How to Keep More of What You Win: A Gambler's Guide to Taxes" by Walter L. Lewis

This is the first of 2 "gambling & taxes" books I read consecutively. They were both such short, easy reads for me that I decided to finish them both before posting reviews.

The first book I read is actually the 1997 edition of the more popular 2003 book with the name reversed and published by Lyle Stuart. I guess they found that "Gambler's Guide to Taxes" is better to lead with now. Although I haven't read the 2003 book, I'm going to assume it has been expanded and updated since it is 159 pages compared to my 85 page 1997 version. But I don't mind because I got mine dirt cheap at a thrift store last year.

The author is a CPA and I think his book gives any US gambler, including poker players, a nice and basic understanding of how to address their tax situation in regards to winnings and losses. Claiming "professional" or "hobby", keeping accurate records, and discussion of key US laws that affect gambling claims are just a few of the topics that should enlighten anyone who is just starting to realize that taxes are something that all gamblers should pay attention to. Though the book is 11 years old, the majority of the material seems relevant and can easily be verified with a software tax program (which is the way I do it).

It should be a very easy 1-day read for any average or above-average reader (took me a few days...LOL). The 85 pages read much like an appliance manual and has a good amount of pages taken up by sample forms. I'm glad I got a killer deal on this book since it helped me to better understand the next tax book I read, which was poker-specific. However, I wouldn't recommend paying full price for this 1997 book due to its simplicity and upcoming obsolescence. But like I said, it did help me for the price I paid. Also, I don't plan on buying or reading the 2003 version since I have a poker-specific book that will suffice. Review on that one coming next...

1 comment:

Pud's Poker said...

The one good thing about being from the UK is that we no longer pay tax on any gambling winnings which is pretty superb. No doubt in the next few years the overnment will change their minds and tax it to the max!