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We were just informed that we won a Church 50/50 raffle ($7000). Since I do our taxes each year I want to know how we declare this. If I choose to give half back to the church would I declare the $7000 and then take a $3500 charitable deduction on Schedule A? If anyone has any better way to maximize this winning for both my family and our church (as far as the IRS taxation is concerned) could you let me know? P.S. I know this may sound cheap, but I spent $30.00 on the raffle tickets, am I able to declare that as an offset to the winnings? If so, where would I do that.

Thanks so much
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You must report the full $7,000 amount of wining as "Other Income" on your 1040.

What you give to your church should be included in your Sch. A charitable contributions.

Now for the best part. Showing $7,000 of gambing income allows you to deduct all of your gambling losses for the year, up to $7,000. These will be shown in the Miscellaneous Deductions section of Sch. A not subject to the 2% floor used for other Misc Deductions.

You are allowed to deduct all gambling costs from all kinds of wagering during the year. That includes all raffles and lotteries (not just your church's), race track wagering, casino gaming, office pools, etc.

You should do your best to reconstruct a cash log of your gambling losses for the year. As many losing tickets and betting slips as you can assemble will assist in your documentation.

I usually end with "good luck," but you aleady have it. I hope this helps.

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