Choctaw Casino

Choctaw Reduces Penalty Notices and Streamlines W-2G Processes

Background

Choctaw Casinos is one of the largest casino operations in the country and is located in Southeast Oklahoma.  Millions of players grace their tables and machines annually. The Choctaw Nation chain of casinos processes over 100,000 W-2G tax forms on jackpots annually.

Key Benefits

  • Improved regulatory compliance resulting in a reduction of penalty notices
  • Significant time-savings around the TIN validation, B-notice correction, and W-2G filing process for over 100,000 forms processed

Business Challenge

Inaccurate TIN information causes increased workload and significant penalties

Choctaw was challenged with receiving large CP2100 files (IRS issued list of recipients with incorrect tax identification/social security numbers) from the IRS each year. There was no system in place that allowed them to verify SSNs prior to making a payout. In 2007, the organization had a staff of six dedicated — for almost two weeks —  to sorting through records. Still the casino had to pay the penalty fines for records that couldn’t be corrected and ultimately began a search for a better solution.

Eva Gonzalez, Choctaw’s head of W-2G processing said that each solution-provider in her search seemed to come up short in at least one area. “We tried to talk to Sovos Compliance’s competitors but they didn’t have the capacity to handle it, at least they didn’t return our phone calls when we told them how many W-2G’s we had to handle in one system,” Gonzalez said. “They were not able to handle that amount. Some of Sovos Compliance’s competitors had a really good system and they said they would be able to handle that amount, but we still needed the [real-time TIN validation] IRS website.”

To fully handle all W-2G related processing problems, Choctaw needed a system that would:

  • Maintain tax detail information from multiple locations into one centralized repository
  • Check all winners’ Taxpayer Identification Numbers at the time of winning to ensure validity
  • Safeguard the casino from paying out to someone on the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals List
  • Efficiently handle the processing, filing, and printing of high volumes of W-2G forms
  • Have customer support available all the time, without issue or IT burden, given the casino’s peak hours during evenings, weekends and holidays

We tried to talk to Sovos Compliance’s competitors but they didn’t have the capacity to handle it, at least they didn’t return our phone calls when we told them how many W-2G’s we had to handle in one system.”

Sovos Compliance’s Solution

Centralizing tax information with real-time TIN validation

After conversations with Sovos Compliance in the fall of 2007, Gonzalez realized that Sovos Compliance had the ideal solution suite to answer Choctaw’s problems. In a one-screen automated system, Choctaw would be able to check a winner’s TIN, ensure they were not on the OFAC list at any time and route all their data into one centralized repository. On top of that, Sovos Compliance’s TIN Compliance Services would allow Choctaw to demonstrate due diligence in correcting and maintaining accurate TIN records. Gonzalez said she was impressed not only by Sovos Compliance’s ability to actualize a solution that met all of Choctaw’s needs, but by the speed and ease of implementation.

“Sovos Compliance took it upon themselves to go and find out more and see if it was possible—they just took it and did what they thought was needed and it ended up being a really good program,” Gonzalez said. “I was impressed with the fact they were able to come up with the new system so fast and the customer support was really great.”