Most people dream of winning the lottery, even those who’ve never bought a ticket.
Passing those billboards and seeing the number increase makes locals and foreigners alike run to grab a ticket. But can a tourist win the lottery in the United States?
Yes, it is legal for a tourist to play the lottery in the U.S. and be eligible to win whatever prize is being offered at the time.
Of course, they are not exempt from taxes. Taxes would be withdrawn from a non-U.S. citizen’s winnings in the very same way as they’d be for an American citizen.
Table of Contents
Foreigners who live outside of the United States must pay a flat 30% federal tax withholding.
Non-residents of the United States may be subject to different taxation regimes in some states than citizens of the country.
There might be some tax agreements between the United States and the nation where the individual has their legal residence, which could reduce the amount of U.S. tax the individual owes.
In other words, non-U.S. nationals can participate in Powerball and profit.
While it is likely that a non-U.S. citizen who ends up winning a huge prize will owe some level of tax, there are several potential variants in global tax laws that visitors will have to communicate with a local attorney to determine the exact percentage of tax obligation.
If you’re on a work visa, you’re still able to play the lottery and claim your winnings.
You fall under the resident alien category as far as the Internal Revenue Services is concerned and so you’re hit with the same taxes as residents.
You are to report your winnings as other income on your schedule one form. Any earnings over $600 are taxable and to claim those winnings, you typically need your SSN and an ID.
Bear in mind that if you’re living and working in the U.S. but do not provide an SSN, your tax withholding gets higher.
Withholding taxes on winnings are 30 percent for non-residents of the United States (for example, students on F-1 visas who don’t fulfill the Substantial Presence Test), and any applicable local fees.
Keep in mind that withholding isn’t always a good indicator of how much tax you’ll owe in the long run; in some cases, you might be eligible for a refund of your tax.
If you are a non-citizen, you must file a 1040-NR rather than 1040, and you must enter your gaming gains on line 11 Column D. Residents of certain European countries and South Africa and the U.K. can choose a 0% tax rate in Column D.
In hopes of avoiding tax rates on a bonanza like the Powerball jackpot, it may seem sensible that you should cut ties with the United States. However, it is not as straightforward as that and so it is not feasible.
If you win the U.S. lottery, you’ll owe federal (and probably local) withholding as well as income taxes, irrespective of where you live in the country.
Even if you are a non-citizen and reside outside the United States, if you choose to receive your rewards as an annuity, you will still get taxed on these U.S.-sourced profits.
As a non-resident alien, you could also be liable to a greater withholding rate because you no longer have ties to the United States.
When you’re already in the path of becoming a citizen and you decide to withdraw, you might well be liable to the departure tax, which is also known as the expatriation levy on your latest properties.
People who wish to renounce their U.S. citizenship or green card must pay an additional tax known as the expatriation tax.
A concluding tax bill is generated and must be settled before you depart permanently if you still have the remaining untaxed income. The choice to leave the United States should be carefully considered.
As long as you don’t become a citizen or give up your U.S. citizenship, you might well be exempt from paying U.S. capital gains tax on the income you make from investing your lottery money.
As long as your home nation doesn’t tax capital gains, or the new nation doesn’t tax them at all, you might well be able to waive taxes on the investment earnings. This might be a lot of money.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Standard time, the Powerball winning lotto numbers are drawn.
Ticket purchase deadlines vary by state, so be careful to verify with an authorized lottery outlet in your area.
Ticket sales in several states finish one hour before the drawing begins, and in others, they continue for about 15 minutes before the game starts.
Powerball does not require a player to be a resident to win. For example, inhabitants of non-Powerball states and even residents of foreign countries have won awards in all reward categories, including the jackpot, in the past.
Federal regulations restrict the shipping of lottery tickets, so this is not an option.
By mail, numerous states allow folks to collect rewards, however. For more information, get in touch with the lottery agency in the region where you bought the ticket.
Within Lottery Post’s Lottery Links site, you can come across several official lottery websites. You’ll see contact details for the lottery on each state’s lotto webpage.
The projected 29-year annual payout of the Powerball prize is 30 payments over 29 years (the initial payment occurs immediately, then 29 consecutive yearly payments afterward.
The state lottery purchases U.S. government Treasury Securities, which collect interest and grow yearly, to payout prizes to participants that choose annuities as an alternative.
For the next 29 years, the winners will get a yearly return of that sum. If you choose the cash payout, the state lottery must give you the amount you might have invested in one lump sum.
An annuity selection is taxed at a lower rate than a cash equivalent since you pay taxes over time, rather than in one go, as with the cash payout.
If you win the jackpot but didn’t choose the cash option when you bought the ticket, federal laws say you have one more chance to do so.
This rule, however, is not adopted by all states in the same way or at all. After winning the jackpot, you may like to explore your options for receiving your winnings.
There is a federal withholding tax for lottery prizes of more than $600.01. You will receive a W-2G form to record your earnings on the federal income filing if you win $600.01 or more.
You will not be required to pay the federal withholding tax on winnings under $5,000.01 since your state’s Internal Revenue Service will take care of that for you (each winning check for an annuity).
With every check, you’ll get a W-2G document that you can attach to your 1040 tax return as proof that the 24 percent federal deduction has been paid.
Extra tax withholdings will be made by your state, but most states will always deduct tax you owe that state, including back payments, child support payments, student loans, and so on.
The taxes withheld at the state level might not necessarily be the whole state tax due at the end of the year, just like the federal tax withholding.
To learn more about the total amount of state taxes that lottery winners must pay, contact your state’s tax department.
Even though you may be employed in a different state, you are still required to pay state income tax in your home state. The lottery is the same.
Earnings from a job or gambling will be taxed by the state where the money is won first at their out-of-state tax rate, regardless of the source (presuming the state levies lotto prizes).
If the tax rate in your home state is the same or less, you won’t be paying any more money to the government.
As long as the rate in your home state is less than the rates in the other state, you will receive a credit toward what you spent in that state and cover the difference back to your state.
When the other state does not impose a tax, you pay your state’s tax bill in full.
You should consult with a lawyer, tax specialist, the IRS (1-800-829-1040), or the state’s Department of Revenue if you have questions about taxes or how to use your rewards.
As always, a well-thought-out financial strategy will help you get the most out of your money.
It is not possible to sell lottery tickets online. There are preferred lottery ticket concierge services, which buy Powerball tickets from approved state lottery retailers on your behalf.
People in the United States should avoid using these services and instead shop in a brick-and-mortar establishment, however, as there are many fraudulent organizations operating in this industry.