The company giving the prize files a form with its own tax return stating the value (since it is a deductible expense for the company), and includes the winner's SSN, so the two need to match.On the Tax Strategies board, one of the regular posters said he won a prize (airfare) where the stated prize value was severely inflated compared to the actual worth. When he filed his return, he used his own valuation for the prize (I think he searched on Orbitz). The IRS wrote back asking about the discrepancy; he sent them his supporting documentation for his valuation of the prize and that was it.
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