Ensuring that winners of the Oklahoma lottery must first pay any delinquent taxes or child support liabilities was the focus of Senate Bill 513, which was approved Tuesday by the state Senate. Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson is the primary author of the bill.
Wilcoxson explained the need for the legislation arose last year when an anonymous trust claimed the prize for the Oklahoma Powerball lottery.
“Because a trust claimed the prize, the Lottery Commission was unable to check whether the winners owed child support,” said Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City. “This bill requires individual members of trusts that collect prizes to submit identification information to the Lottery Commission to determine if a person owes any child support liabilities.”
Under current law, individuals who claim prizes from the Oklahoma Education Lottery are required to submit personal information. However, the law does not extend that requirement to members of trusts.
Wilcoxson noted the measure also establishes procedures for the Lottery Commission to work together with the Oklahoma Tax Commission to determine if any winners owe back taxes.
“I understand that if you win a million dollars in the lottery, you may want to protect your identity, but the problem is that some may owe back taxes or child support,” said Wilcoxson. “This measure addresses that issue by allowing the Lottery Commission to work together with the Tax Commission and the Department of Human Services to determine whether any taxes or child support are owed. Then, any taxes of child support would be withheld from the winnings.”
Under Wilcoxson’s measure, individual members of trusts would be required to submit information to the Lottery Commission, but their identities would remain confidential.
The measure now advances to the House for consideration.