Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I bet you

This one comes from close to home.

As reported in the Pioneer Press, a 72-year old Minneapolis woman named Estelle Busch has just pulled the wool completely over the eyes of the state Supreme Court.

Basically, she convinced them that playing slot machines is her job, and that she should be allowed to deduct her gambling losses as expenses on her taxes. She was appealing the state of Minnesota having audited her tax returns and demanding over $100,000 in back taxes. The woman claimed that she had researched slot machines to find out the best way to "improve her skill", and then she tried applying that skill, while she also "kept detailed, businesslike records of her winnings and losings."

While I understand that there is a law on the books that says that taxpayers may claim an itemized deduction for gambling losses up to a certain point, I can't fathom how someone could go so far as to claim that gambling was a full-time job, let alone one that allowed her to sneak out of six-figures of back taxes. Especially given that, to my understanding, this woman won $1.5M while losing $1.7M over three years... that kind of scratch generally results with someone needing to pay the Individual Alternative Minimum Tax, which then makes them mostly exempt from that deductable for gambling losses.

So she played the slots for over 60 hours per week. And instead of being treated as someone with a potential gambling addiction, she was rewarded with being told that she basically had free non-tax money.

Makes me think I should quit my job and start "working" out at Canterbury's card club. After all, there's already a legal precedent to allow me to skimp on my taxes if I lose too much money.


Anonymous said...

Cantabury does not have slot machines.


Wylderwolf said...

They've got the card club, though. I'm better at poker.