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TMFJeanie writes (in part):

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.

I reply:

I'm pretty sure that the amounts need not match. I won a nice little trip in 2002. Disney sent me a 1099 declaring full retail value. My wife did the legwork to duplicate the trip and accommodations through Priceline, and the documentation of her work resides in our 2002 tax folder. That's the price we declared on our taxes, and we never heard a peep out of the IRS.

You are required to declare fair market value. You are not required to accept the sponsor's estimate of that value. Just be ready to document your estimate should it be challenged. --Bob
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