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State taxes will take a bite out of most lottery jackpots

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

There are nine states with no personal income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

I mention this today because the lone winner of last night’s Mega Millions $361 million ($157.3 million one-time cash option) jackpot bought the slip in Texas. If that person lives here, he/she/they are in luck, since the millions only have to be shared with the Internal Revenue Service.

California, Washington special situations: The same goes for the other no-income-tax states, as well as California.

Yep, although California is infamous for many and varied taxes and high rates, the Golden State shines when it comes to lottery winnings. Lottery jackpots are exempt from state tax.

And while there’s no state income tax in Washington, if winners there invest jackpot cash, they eventually could face the Evergreen State’s 7 percent capital gains tax on profits from certain capital asset sales.

But what about winners in other states? Glad you asked.

State tax cut of lottery winnings: This weekend’s Saturday Shout Outs go to a couple of items that examine the state taxes that will be collected on lottery winnings in addition to Uncle Sam’s take.

Kelley R. Taylor tells us which states will take the biggest tax bite out of a lottery jackpot in her Kiplinger Personal Finance article the States With the Highest Powerball Taxes.

As for the other states, you can check out’s lottery tax calculator. Enter your total winnings and state, and voilà, you’ll see how much richer you’ve also made your state’s treasury.

Of course, these state tax items are just guidelines. Taxes on anything are complex, so, as I note in my tax tip on moves lottery winners should make, consult a financial expert as soon as you realize you’re a new lottery millionaire.

Finally, I must mention that residents of no-income-tax Alaska and Nevada won’t owe tax on lottery winnings, they had to spend some cash to buy them. They had to travel beyond their borders to buy the tickets since Powerball and Mega Millions aren’t available in those two states, or in Alabama, Hawai'i, and Utah either.

The reasons behind the lottery lockouts in those locales is this weekend’s final Saturday Shout Out. Addy Bink’s piece for Nexstar Media Wire explains why you can’t buy Mega Millions or Powerball tickets in 5 states.

Regardless of where you live, if you (like me) decide to waste a few dollars on the lottery dream, I and the IRS and, in most cases, your state tax collector, wish you good luck!

You also might find these items of interest:



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