FAQs for Indian tribal governments regarding information reporting


These frequently asked questions and answers are provided for general information only and should not be cited as any type of legal authority. They are designed to provide the user with information required to respond to general inquiries. Due to the uniqueness and complexities of Indian law and Federal tax law, it is imperative to ensure a full understanding of the specific question presented, and to perform the requisite research to ensure a correct response is provided.

Box 3 on Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, requires a "wager code". Where can they be found?

Form W2-GPDF, Box 3, requires the applicable type of wager code for each Form W2-G the casino issues. The wager codes and their definitions are as follows:

Code Category
1 Horse racetrack (or off-track betting of a horse track nature)
2 Dog racetrack (or off-track betting of a dog track nature)
3 Jai-alai
4 State-conducted lottery
5 Keno
6 Bingo
7 Slot machines
8 Poker winnings
9 Any other type of gambling winnings

Form W-2G wager codes are required to electronically file through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System and are located in Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing Form 1098, 1099, 5498, and W2-G ElectronicallyPDF. Refer to Part C Record Format specifications and Record Layouts, Sec. 3 Payee “B” Record. 

What is a Form W-9 and when is it applicable?

Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and CertificationPDF, is used by a U.S. person (including a resident alien) to give their correct TIN to the person requesting it, and when applicable, to:

  • certify the TIN you are giving is correct (or you are waiting for a number to be issued),
  • certify you are not subject to backup withholding, or
  • claim exemption from backup withholding if you are an exempt payee.

Are per capita distributions by a tribe generally subject to federal income tax withholding?

There are generally two types of "per capita" payments, only one of which is subject to required federal income tax withholding.

  • When the tribe or any other payor distributes net revenues from their class II or class III gaming activity, income tax withholding is required;
  • Distributions that are not from Class II or Class III gaming activity do not require income tax withholding;

If the tribal member does not provide a Social Security number (SSN), or if the IRS notifies the tribe that the SSN provided is incorrect or that another problem as described in Internal Revenue Code section 3406(a)(1) exists, backup withholding is required.

When is truncation of payee identification number on paper statements allowed?

Truncating payee identification number on paper payee statements (Forms 1098 series, 1099 series, and 5498 series)

Notice 2009-93 allows filers of information returns in the Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, and Form 5498 series to truncate an individual payee's SSN, ITIN, or ATIN on paper payee statements for tax years 2009 and 2010. Filers may truncate a payee's identification number on the payee statement (including substitute and composite substitute statements) furnished to the payee in paper form only. Generally, the payee statement is that copy of an information return designated "Copy B" on the form. A "payee" is any person who is required to receive a copy of the information set forth on an information return by the filer of the return. For some forms, the term "payee" will refer to beneficiary, borrower, debtor, insured, participant, payer, policyholder, recipient, shareholder, student, or transferor. If a filer truncates an identification number on Copy B, other copies of the form furnished to the payee may also include a truncated number.

A filer may not truncate a payee's identification number on any forms filed with the IRS or with state or local governments, on any payee statement furnished electronically, or on any payee statement not in the Form 1098, Form 1099, or Form 5498 series. A filer's identification number may not be truncated. A payee's employer identification number may not be truncated. Further, note that Form 1098-C is excluded from the scope of Notice 2009-93 as Copy B is an acknowledgement to a donor and not a payee statement. To truncate, replace the first 5 digits of the 9-digit number with asterisks (*) or Xs (for example, an SSN xxx-xx-xxxx would appear on the paper payee statement as ***-**-xxxx or XXX-XX-xxxx).