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Form W-2G Explained

Jerika Holton
Jan 19, 2024
5 min

What Every Gaming Organization Should Know About Form W-2G

Table of Contents:

What is Form W-2G?

Curious if your organization needs to issue a W-2G form? Well, you're not alone! This form is a bit of a special character in the world of tax forms, particularly for casinos and gaming organizations. It's the go-to form for reporting certain gambling winnings and any federal income tax withheld on those winnings to the IRS.

Who Needs to Worry About W-2G?

The IRS has specific guidelines on who should report gambling winnings on Form W-2G. It's quite a list, but here's a quick overview: Casions or other organizations will issue a W-2G if a winner's earnings from bingo or slot machines are $1,200 or more, $1,500 or more from keno, or more than $5,000 from a poker tournament. And it's not just about the big wins; even smaller winnings might need outside reporting if they meet certain criteria.

Cash Prizes and Their Tax Implications

Giving away a car or other cash prize? That's great, but don't forget the tax implications for winners. The fair market value (FMV) of noncash prizes like cars or vacations counts when it comes to taxes. If the FMV is over $5,000, after deducting your wager, there's a 24% regular gambling withholding tax to consider. And how you handle this tax can vary – either the winner pays it, or you cover it, but the rates differ.

Withholding Taxes on Your Winnings

There are two main types of withholding taxes on gambling winnings:

  • Regular Gambling Withholding: This is a 24% tax (or 31.58% for certain non-cash payments) on winnings from sweepstakes, wagering pools, lotteries, and more, if they exceed $5,000 after the wager.
  • Backup Withholding (including winnings from bingo, keno, slot machines, and poker tournaments): Also at 24%, this applies if the winner doesn't provide a correct TIN, regular withholding hasn't been done, and the winnings are substantial (like $600 and 300 times the wager).

Both these withholdings are reported in box 4 of the W-2G. And if you're dealing with state or local taxes, there's more to consider that you can explore here.

Greenshades Year-End Forms Software Makes Filing W-2G a Breeze

Now, filing Form W-2G doesn't have to be a daunting task. With Greenshades, you can streamline the entire process. From creating to reviewing, and distributing forms, everything's covered in a simple year-end checklist. Plus, you'll stay on top of critical filing deadlines, handle print and mail, and e-file with ease. Say goodbye to manual labor and reduce the risk of rejection and say hello to the power of year-end forms software.


So, there you have it – a quick dive into the world of Form W-2G. Whether you're a casino, a lucky winner, or just curious, understanding this form is crucial. And with Greenshades by your side, managing Form W-2G is as easy as rolling the dice – but with much better odds of success!

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