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Annual Income Tax Return Lottery

Topic closed. 13 replies. Last post 12 years ago by CASH Only.

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Would you favor an annual state or federal income tax return lottery?

Yes, both state and federal tax return lotteries [ 7 ]  [41.18%]
Yes, but only a federal tax return lottery [ 1 ]  [5.88%]
Yes, but only a state tax return lottery [ 0 ]  [0.00%]
No, I wouldn't favor either [ 9 ]  [52.94%]
Total Valid Votes [ 17 ]  
Discarded Votes [ 3 ]  
ayenowitall's avatar - rod serling4.jpg

United States
Member #4416
April 22, 2004
1075 Posts
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Posted: January 19, 2005, 3:03 am - IP Logged

If our income tax returns can offer us the option of designating funds to go to politcal campaigns, why can't we designate a dollar to enter an annual income tax return lottery? Some states even offer tax filers the opportunity to donate to various funds for veterans, victims, Olympic games, wildlife conservation, and other things. An annual income tax return lottery would increase tax compliance by encouraging more people to file a return.

Such a federal income tax return lottery could be done offering one or more super prizes at the national level and one guaranteed secondary prize winner for each state. State income tax return lotteries could offer the statewide super prize(s) and have one guaranteed secondary prize winner for each county. I would envision such lotteries to be run by participants designating $1.00 from their tax refund or by collecting a $1.00 entry fee on the income tax returns of those who might owe taxes. This would avoid erosion of the tax base. Participation would be entirely voluntary and the prizes would be tax free. Only one $1.00 entry per tax filer would be allowed, and only personal income tax filers (no businesses) could participate. There would be no numbers to pick. Winners would be selected simply by the luck of the draw from all participating tax filers.

What's in it for the governments? Well, in addition to increasing tax compliance, the goverment could rake off a hefty percentage and still be able to award very large prizes. The government's take would also constitute an increase in income tax revenue. Additionally, such a lottery or lotteries would give us all something to actually look forward to at tax time instead of dreading it.

So, what do you think? Is this workable? Do you have any ideas that might make it more workable? Do think it's a totally off-the-wall bad idea that would not work? If so, please explain why? Maybe this idea might have some real potential for being presented to our governments for implementation. Let's hash it out here.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and participation in this poll.

Good luck,

aye'

    dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

    United States
    Member #2338
    September 17, 2003
    2063 Posts
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    Posted: January 19, 2005, 3:06 am - IP Logged

    Lotteries are up to the states to decide not the federal government. A better question might me why should we tax a tax. I think its time to end tax on lottery winnings.

      ayenowitall's avatar - rod serling4.jpg

      United States
      Member #4416
      April 22, 2004
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      Posted: January 19, 2005, 4:43 am - IP Logged

      Quote: Originally posted by dvdiva on January 19, 2005




      Lotteries are up to the states to decide not the federal government. A better question might me why should we tax a tax. I think its time to end tax on lottery winnings.





      dvdiva,

      Actually, many countries have national lotteries. Additionally, my question addresses not only a national lottery, but state lotteries as well.

      I'm also a little confused by your question about why we should "tax a tax." Contrary to a widely held misconception, lotteries are not a tax. I do, however, agree that lottery winnings should not be taxed.

      I'd be glad to have your feedback on the specifics of this issue about an annual income tax return lottery. You might want to read my initial post in this thread a little more closely. I hope we can hear your considered thoughts on this.

      Thanks,

      aye'

       

       

       


        dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

        United States
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        September 17, 2003
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        Posted: January 19, 2005, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

        Other countries dont have a state and federal structure like the US. The only way of having a federal lottery would be to get rid of the 10th admendment of the constitution. So no federal lottery is going to happen any time soon. Second lotteries are for the generation of money (i.e. tax) for the states, having money taken from their income tax would not generate more money for the participating states.

        Lotteries are a voluntary tax. Period.

          ayenowitall's avatar - rod serling4.jpg

          United States
          Member #4416
          April 22, 2004
          1075 Posts
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          Posted: January 19, 2005, 9:15 pm - IP Logged

          dvdiva,

          There's only one United Staes of America, but there are indeed other countries that have state or provincial governments which co-exist with their respective federal governments. There's nothing about this country having both the federal and state governments that would preclude having state or federal income tax return lotteries.

          I'm no expert on constitutional law, but there's nothing about the 10th Amendment that gives the states the exclusive right to conduct lotteries. I seem to remember being personally subjected to a draft lottery that was conducted for a number of years by the federal government, so certainly it has the authority to conduct a lottery if it so chooses. If it is your contention that the 10th Amendment gives states the exclusive right to to levy taxes, well I think we are all painfully aware of the federal goverment's ability to tax us in any number of ways. Both state and federal governments can collect taxes, so if you maintain that lotteries are a tax, then the federal goverment also has the right to conduct lotteries by extention of your logic. I don't think it would be necessary to amend the US Constitution in order to have state or federal income tax return lotteries, but it wouldn't be an insurmountable obstacle. If we can seriously consider amending our constitution over issues such as gay marriage, prayer in schools, abortion, and the pledge to the flag, then getting a federal income tax return lottery going should be a slam-dunk. Virtually every state that now has a lottery had to pass legislation and/or amend its state constitution to legally establish those lotteries. Changing laws and amending constitutions can be done and it is done.

          Aside from the fact that states could conduct annual income tax lotteries (Yes, I realize that not all states have an income tax.), I really don't understand your idea that state or federal income tax return lotteries would take money away from states conducting such lotteries.  As I clearly stated, my idea is for the money from tax filers to come from money that they would ordinarily be due in a return or from an additional payment from those who might not be entitled to a return. That's actually putting more money into the state and federal coffers. The states and federal governments would reap hefty revenues if they kept anything even close the huge percentages that current state lotteries rake off from their players' bets before paying prizes.

          I can understand your sentiments about lotteries being a tax. In fact, I once held the same belief, but the term "volutary tax" is an oxymoron of the first order. A tax is by definition a compulsory payment of a percentage of income, property value, or other assets for the support of government. I know of some compulsive gamblers, but I don't know of any lottery that compels the citizens of its respective state to play. On the other hand, governments do compel citizens to pay taxes, and they routinely prosecute, fine, and jail those who do not comply. Taxes are inherently compulsory; lottery participation is not. If it's not compulsory, it's not a tax.

          This is all pretty much tangential to the poll question, and I don't expect to change your thinking, but I do thank you for posting your opinions. I hope that others will give some thought to the idea of state or federal income tax return lotteries and post their views.

          Good luck,

          aye'

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            Morrison, IL
            United States
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            Posted: January 19, 2005, 9:21 pm - IP Logged

              Lottery winnings should not be subject to state tax in any state.


              United States
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              Posted: January 26, 2005, 8:36 pm - IP Logged

              ryan:

              I think we all agree.

                undress's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg
                roseville, MI
                United States
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                Posted: January 26, 2005, 8:39 pm - IP Logged

                I agree Ryan

                Mad ALL IN!Mad

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
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                  Posted: January 26, 2005, 9:10 pm - IP Logged

                  No way, the Federal Government should collect as little as possible, and then it's up to each individual if they want to put their own dollar(s) into a lottery game.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    ayenowitall's avatar - rod serling4.jpg

                    United States
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                    Posted: January 28, 2005, 9:02 pm - IP Logged
                    Quote: Originally posted by Todd on January 26, 2005


                    No way, the Federal Government should collect as little as possible, and then it's up to each individual if they want to put their own dollar(s) into a lottery game.



                    Isn't that what I said? I've never proposed that anyone be required to play any lottery game.

                    It's ironic that we would look to the Federal government for intervention to stop the states from using computerized draws, but we somehow see the Federal government as a malevolent entity when it comes to taxes and giving people a chance to really win big at income tax time. And what would be the harm in states running annual income tax return lotteries?

                    aye'


                      United States
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                      Posted: February 2, 2005, 9:42 am - IP Logged

                      aye:

                      I see your point.

                        lazyjim's avatar - redhead
                        White Mountains AZ
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                        Posted: February 26, 2005, 7:12 pm - IP Logged
                        Quote: Originally posted by ayenowitall on January 19, 2005



                         Participation would be entirely voluntary and the prizes would be tax free.




                                Sounds good to me, I'd be for it.

                          United States
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                          February 23, 2005
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                          Posted: February 26, 2005, 9:26 pm - IP Logged

                          Well since we are trying to simplify the tax code, adding another page just for a lottery scheme seems to make things more complicated.



                          The lottery was designed to collect money for education and other government services. A lot of the money comes from people with nothing who think they are going to win big. The jackpot winner takes home millions of dollars because lots of people lose. States and cities with jackpot winners are just as happy about getting the tax money as the winner is. The worst thing is if you wanted to give a friend a share of the cash, that money is also taxed. The lottery is a dirty business, if you don't like it, dont play.


                            United States
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                            Posted: February 28, 2005, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                            The winnings would be tax free?