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Tax Tip Tuesday: Backup Withholding


Backup withholding is a federal tax on income that otherwise does not require tax withholding, such as 1099 and W2-G income. Taxpayers who acquire this type of income may have backup withholding deducted from their payments.


Backup withholding is required on certain nonpayroll amounts when specific conditions apply. The payer making such payments to the payee does not generally withhold taxes, and the payees report and pay taxes on this income when filing their federal tax returns.


Payments subject to backup withholding include:

  • Interest payments

  • Dividends

  • Payment card and third-party network transactions

  • Patronage dividends, but only if at least half the payment is in money

  • Rents, profits, or other gains

  • Commissions, fees, or other payments for work performed as an independent contractor

  • Payments by brokers

  • Barter exchanges

  • Royalty payments

  • Gambling winnings, if not subject to gambling withholding

  • Taxable grants

  • Agriculture payments


There are circumstances when the payer is required to withhold a percentage of tax to ensure the IRS receives the tax due on this income. The payer must deduct backup withholding if:

  • A payee has not supplied the payer with a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

  • The IRS notified them that the payee provided a TIN that does not match their name in IRS records, and the payer does not secure the correct TIN from the payee. To avoid backup withholding, payees should check the payer has the correct name and TIN.

If you have questions regarding backup withholding, we can help. Contact us today!


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