Require Lottery Winners to Pay Back Taxes First
January 8, 2014- Jessica Illuzzi
winners may have to pay back taxes before collecting their prize. A bill is
currently moving through the legislature would require anyone who wins more
than $2,500 from the Pennsylvania Lottery to use those winnings to pay
delinquent state taxes.
Under the provisions of House Bill 1489,
which passed the House Finance Committee unanimously, taxpayers who have
outstanding state taxes and have exhausted all
appeal rights would have the amount of back taxes they owe deducted from their
lottery winnings and paid directly to the Commonwealth.
House Speaker Sam
supports this bill and says, This is a
commonsense piece of legislation that simply requires lottery prizewinners to
satisfy outstanding public debts first.
Current state law
already requires back child support to be deducted from lottery winnings. Under House Bill 1489, delinquent child
support deductions would take priority over back taxes, but both could be
deducted from winnings.
bill would require the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to determine if
lottery prizewinners are receiving public assistance benefits. If so, DPW would determine if the individual
remains eligible for assistance after the lottery winnings are factored
This measure aims
to combat welfare fraud and abuse by making a concerted effort to ensure that
public assistance benefits are only being paid to those who truly qualify for
them, Smith said. I hope to see this
bill coming before the House of Representatives early this year.