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Old 12-16-2002, 09:30 AM
miatachris miatachris is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: East TN
Posts: 216
IANAL either.

The way I understand it is this ----

The casino, on Canadian soil, gave you cash for your chips and did not make you fill out any forms that used your SSN. You crossed the border to go home and did not declare the cash at customs. Therefore, you have $1800 cash on hand the govt knows nothing about, and will not know unless you tell them.

Your normal income is tracked by the govt using your SSN. In an IRS audit, the govt will see how much money you make, and usually spend. $1800 deposited into your checking account un-accounted for by reported income would make an auditor smell blood.

So, here's the tradeoff. Would you rather have $1800 of money that is only good for "unaccounted-for-off-the-books cash purchases" or ~$900 that you can pay your bills with? If you don't report it, you can't use it for -anything- that's tied to your SSN -or- creates a paper trail -or- modifies your normal habits. Even if you pay cash for your groceries for several months, an auditor would notice the change in habits and wonder why. You can't pay your bills with it, businesses keep records and will show that you paid cash for those transactions.

That leaves things like movie tickets, lunch out rather than brown bag, and trips to Chuck E Cheese for the kids or even back to the casino. Nice, but it has its limits.

Me, I'd probably report that amount and pay bills with half and save the other half for taxes.