Good people at Atlantic Lottery Corporation: I have a request, and it will not cost you any more than a slight administrative hassle.
I am a dual Canadian-American citizen. As such, if I ever won one of your lotteries, I would have to pay the IRS a big chunk of change. I’ll just throw out a number: 35%. So if I won a $50 million Lotto Max, I’d have to pay The United States Of America $17.5 million. America will tax me and other American citizens (over a million live in Canada) all because they say I do not pay taxes on my winnings, but of course we all know taxes are in fact paid. It is not just the big prizes but all prizes. 2.85% of Canadians are American citizens. Extrapolated, 2.85% of your prizes are taxed by America. The fix is simple — tax us visibly. The thought of paying Canadian money to America makes me upset, and it should make you upset. A Canadian citizen unable to fully participate in a Canadian financial instrument, albeit a lottery, is a problem we should rectify.
My request is simple. I want a tax receipt. Your FAQ states that 57% of money you receive is paid out. As I see it, 43% of the money you take in is tax. That is what this 43% is. You take in $100, keep $43 as tax, and pay out $57. I want you to increase all prizes by 75%. I want the maximum Lotto Max prize to be $87.7 million. And then I want you to tax me the 43% or $37.7 million. I want you to make this tax visible at the individual level.
What will it do for you and me? I will be able to claim this tax bill on my American taxes which will enable me to keep all of the targeted $50 million. All your hard-earned efforts will not go to waste paying down America’s impossible debts. Instead, the money will stay in Canada, be invested in Canada, create Canadian businesses and jobs, and put all of the money to work where it belongs: in Canada.
Yes, my request is selfish, but it is not just about me. These crazy, unfair citizen-based American income tax policies are invasive. They invade my liberty and well-being as a Canadian citizen and taxpayer, and they invade Canadian tax policy — of which lotteries are an integral part. They invade Canadian citizens’ well-being. They invade Atlantic Canadians’ well-being.
What do you say ALC? Are you game?