Understanding Taxes on NJ Lottery Winnings

By: Todd Betzold
Calculator with Buttons for Taxes

Key Takeaways

  • The New Jersey Lottery will not withhold any federal taxes on anything won under $5,000.
  • Any winnings over $5,000 are subject to a 24% tax rate for federal withholdings.
  • State taxes are withheld in New Jersey on any winnings in excess of $10,000 at the rate of 5% and 8% for any winnings in excess of $500,000.

You are excited, as you just won the New Jersey Lottery. Whether it was a small jackpot or a big one, you may start wondering what happens next as far as taxes are concerned once that thrill of winning starts to diminish. That is where we come into play, as we have all you need to know about taxes and lottery winnings in the state of New Jersey.

How are NJ Lottery Winnings Taxed?

If you hit a jackpot on the New Jersey Lottery, you may be wondering what are the specifics for taxes on New Jersey lottery winnings? We can break this down into two aspects: federal taxes and state taxes.

Federal law requires the NJ Lottery to withhold 24% from any winnings that exceed $5,000. Anything won under $5,000 in New Jersey is not required to have federal taxes withheld unless you are not a U.S. citizen. For non-U.S. citizens, any prize of $600 or more is required a federal withholding rate of 30%.

For state taxes on New Jersey Lottery winnings, state law requires the NJ Lottery to withhold State taxes at the rate of 5% from any winnings in excess of $10,000 and up to $500,000. Any NJ Lottery winnings in excess of $500,000 will have withholdings at the rate of 8%. For those winners that do not provide a taxpayer identification (social security) number, their winnings are held to the higher State withholding rate of 8% to any prize in excess of $10,000.

Those are the withholdings at the time of winning your big jackpot. However, you will have to report ALL winnings on your federal and State tax returns at the end of the year. When tax time rolls around, each winner will receive a Form W2-G, which will show the amount of Lottery prize payments you must report as income on your federal and State tax returns. The form will also show the amount of federal and State taxes withheld, which will be reported as credits on your federal and State tax returns.

What Does a $1000 Lottery Win Mean for Your Taxes in New Jersey?

To give you a more specific example of paying taxes on lottery winnings in New Jersey, let’s say you just won $1,000 through the New Jersey Lottery. What does this mean for your taxes in New Jersey?

To start, if you win anything under $5,000 in New Jersey, then you are not required to have federal taxes withheld unless you are not a U.S. citizen. If you are not a U.S. citizen, then you are subject to a 30% withholding rate for federal taxes on your $1,000 jackpot.

For state taxes in New Jersey, state law requires the New Jersey Lottery to withhold taxes only on winning prizes that exceed $10,000. Since you won $1,000, you are not required to have any State taxes withheld from your winnings.

While you may not have to withhold any taxes at the time of winning, you will receive a Form W2-G at the end of the year. You will have to report the $1,000 in winnings as income. Since you had no taxes withheld, you will have no credits to report on your federal and State tax returns.

How to Manage Taxes on Lottery Winnings

Managing taxes on lottery winnings can be complex, but there are steps you can take to help you through the process. Since lottery winnings are generally treated as income, know that you are subject to taxes on both levels when it comes to filing your taxes. You may want to set aside a portion of your lottery winnings to cover any tax liabilities you may owe when you file your taxes at the end of the year. Your best bet may be talking with a tax professional who has experience dealing with people who have won big lottery jackpots. They can help guide you in the right direction in making smart tax choices.

Winning the lottery in New Jersey is a very exciting time in your life, but it is also a time to consider careful planning and consideration for tax purposes. You want to make the best of this situation, so working with a tax professional or financial advisor may be your best bet when dealing with your big winnings!

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