Many people play the lottery regularly dreaming and hoping that someday they might hit it big. The dreams of fancy houses, cars, or finally being out of debt can drive people to purchase lottery tickets week after week. But many people often wonder just how much tax there is on their lottery winnings.
While winning big in the lottery can be exciting, the thought of having to pay taxes on your winnings can be overwhelming and confusing. This is because the amount of money you will pay on taxes on your lottery winnings depends on several factors including how much you win and what state you live in.
Knowing how much tax there is on lottery winnings can help you to plan for them while you are deciding how to spend your windfall. Keep reading to learn more about how lottery winnings are taxed by both the federal and state governments and just how much you may be paying out.
How Are Winnings From the Lottery Taxed Federally?
When it comes to lottery winnings, it is important to understand that this money is considered by the Internal Revenue Service as taxable income. This means that the amount you win will be added to your typical annual income from your job to determine how much you owe at tax time.
The exact amount of money that is owed to the IRS is determined by the amount of your lottery winnings. The other determining factor is the tax bracket you are in currently and then which one you are in with the lottery winnings.
Keep in mind that before you see a penny of your winnings, the IRS immediately withholds about 25%. It is important to note that this is not the final amount that you will owe in taxes on your winnings. The final amount will be determined when you file your annual taxes at tax time.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that whatever your winnings are, you will not be taxed on the higher tax bracket for all of the money. This is because the Federal income tax uses a progressive method. This means that your lottery winnings are taxed at different rates anywhere between 10%-37%, depending on the amount you won.
How Are Lottery Winnings Taxed by State Governments?
The amount of taxes that you will pay for lottery winnings to your state and local governments depend on the number of your winnings and the state in which you live. While a majority of the states in the U.S. have a state income tax, several states do not.
If you happen to live in a state that does not levy an income tax, then you will not have to worry about giving another piece of your winnings away. You will only have to worry about your federal income taxes when they come due in April.
However, if you live in a state where they have a state income tax, you will need to pay a portion of your winnings to them. This rate depends heavily on the state you live in since the tax rates vary across the nation.
Many people have purchased lottery tickets in states other than the one they live in and wonder how they pay taxes on that. In most cases, the state you bought the lottery ticket in will withhold your taxes since they are the ones who are paying out. To know whether you should also pay taxes in your state, it is best to consult with a tax professional.
How Much Taxes Is There on Lottery Winnings in California?
If you choose to play the lottery and live in California, the good news is that you will not have to pay state taxes on your winnings. This is because California does not tax lottery winnings of any kind. This does not mean that you will not have to pay federal income tax on the winnings, however.
So for California residents, although there is a state income tax, you can play the lottery to your heart’s content and will not have to pay the state any of your winnings. However, if you live in another state and you play the California lottery, you may be subject to taxes in your state of residence.
How Much Taxes Is There on Lottery Winnings in Texas?
Those who wish to participate in the lottery in Texas do not have to worry about paying any local taxes. This is because Texas does not levy taxes on lottery winnings. This could be because Texas does not have a state income tax, but either way, they do not tax winnings.
Keep in mind that just because you will not have to pay taxes on your lottery winnings in Texas, if you live in another state, you may be liable to pay taxes in your state. This would be in addition to the federal income tax that will be due.
Is It Better to Take the Lump Sum or Annuity Payments For Lottery Winnings?
One thing you should consider if you win big in the lottery is whether you will take the lump-sum payment or the annuity payments. While most people choose to take the lump sum payment for a variety of reasons, others choose the annuity option for the lower tax implications.
When you take the lump sum payment, this means that you fall into a different tax bracket and are liable to the progressive method of taxation based on your winning amount. This means that the year you win the lottery, you will end up paying out quite a bit in taxes for your lottery winnings.
If you choose to take the annuity payments, this puts you in a lower tax bracket which means you will pay out less each year. Knowing that you will be paying less in taxes for your lottery winnings is enough to convince many people to take this type of payment method.
Overall, it is important to keep in mind that if you win money in the lottery you will have to pay taxes on the winnings. While the IRS will take 25% initially, you will still owe the remainder when you file taxes at the end of the year. In addition, you should always work with a tax professional before you make any decisions on spending money you won in the lottery.