Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings

IRS Definition

File this form to report gambling winnings and any federal income tax withheld on those winnings. The requirements for reporting and withholding depend on:

  • the type of gambling,
  • the amount of the gambling winnings, and
  • generally, the ratio of the winnings to the wager.

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If you receive a Form W-2G for gambling winnings, you must report the full amount of income shown on the W-2G on your tax return. The W-2G will also show any federal and state income tax withheld from your winnings. You cannot report your actual net winnings (winnings less buy in).

However, you can deduct losses up to the amount of your winnings. You can itemize losses on your Schedule A, if you have receipts or other documentation to prove your losses. You cannot show a net loss on your tax return from gambling.

If you receive a W-2G and do not report the income on your tax return, the IRS will likely send you a CP2000, Underreported Income notice. This IRS notice will propose additional tax, penalties and interest on the unreported gambling winnings and any other unreported income.

Learn how to handle an underreporter inquiry (CP2000).

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