$2.0 Billion Goes Unclaimed Annually in the U.S.
It doesn’t matter what the odds are; the idea that we have even the slightest chance of winning a lottery is enough to make millions of us line up for weekly tickets. What doesn’t make sense, though, is the number of people who play the lottery in the U.S. and never check their tickets.
An estimated $2.0 billion in U.S. lottery prizes go unclaimed every year! Yes, many of those tickets are worth between just $1.00 and $5.00, but more than 300 prizes worth more than $1.0 million went unclaimed in 2013; the numbers aren’t in yet for 2014.
What’s the reason for so many unclaimed prizes? When most people hear they didn’t win the jackpot, they forget to see if they won any smaller prizes. In fact, many lottery players don’t even realize there are secondary winnings.
The Powerball jackpot for the February 11, 2015 draw is estimated to be $485 million, making it the fifth-largest prize in U.S. history. The last time the Powerball jackpot was so large was in February 2014.
U.S. Lottery Winnings Subject to 30% Tax
Lottery winnings may be tax-free in Canada and many other countries, but that isn’t the case south of the Canadian border. You may not be able to live and work in the United States, but if you win the lottery, the IRS considers that to be fully taxable income.
Any winnings above $600.00 are taxed at 30%. This differs from other forms of gaming, such as slots, keno, bingo, poker, and pari-mutuel betting, where substantial winnings over $1,200 are subject to a 30% withholding tax. Not all gaming winnings are taxed, though: baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette are exempt from the 30% withholding tax.
If a Canadian or non-U.S. visitor from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, or Thailand wins $1.0 million in a U.S. lottery, they’ll end up with a cheque for $700,000; the IRS keeps the rest.
RMS The #1 Choice for Canadian and Non-U.S. Lottery Winners
If you’ve won a substantial amount in a U.S. lottery and had 30% of your winnings withheld by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you get some or all of your gaming tax refund back. In fact, it’s the easiest way to get your money back!
Founded, owned, and operated by a Canadian Chartered Accountant, RMS is a certified agent of the IRS for filing lottery winnings applications. As the most trusted source for lottery tax recovery, RMS has successfully completed the most U.S. gaming tax refunds for Canadians since 1998.
If 30% of your lottery winnings have been withheld by the IRS, call the experts at Refund Management Services; all it takes is a five-minute phone call. We’ll explain how RMS can help you get a portion or all of your lottery tax refund back.
To find out how, talk to one of the lottery tax recovery experts at Refund Management Services. Call us toll-free from the United States or Canada at 1-888-272-5559 or e-mail RMS at [email protected].
“The 300 missing lottery millionaires,” CNN Money web site, February 9, 2015; http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/09/pf/unclaimed-lottery-winners/index.html?source=yahoo_hosted.
“$485 Million Powerball Jackpot Is 5th Largest in US History,” ABC News web site, February 10, 2015; http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/450-million-powerball-jackpot-5th-largest-us-history-28861191.