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How Much Tax Will James Holzhauer Pay on His 'Jeopardy!' Winnings?
The IRS and California will take about 46% of the game-show star's winnings.

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/taxes/T056-C005-S001-tax-o...
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Is there a city earnings tax? If it were in St. Louis, he'd lose another 1%.
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Assuming Will H. is married and files jointly, and assuming his winnings all occurred in 2019 and he has no other ordinary or investment income and he takes the standard deduction, my tax computation comes out to be $840,132. But he is listed in his Wiki as being a professional sports gambler, using a complex model of predictive outcomes for various teams, so you can likely add several hundred thousand to the Jeopardy winnings. Plus his wiki said he intends to donate an amount of his winnings to a child's assistance fund in Nevada, so he'll likely itemize, as he can contribute and deduct up to 60% of his cash winnings as a charitable donation.

The article says "To make sure the IRS and California get their cut, the taxes will be withheld from his overall payout." The Media always gets this wrong. The standard W-2G withholding is 25% for game winnings. With his effective rate on these winnings at 34.1%, assuming no other income, he'll have to make up the difference in estimated quarterly payments.

https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/income/other-income/gambl...

Yes, there are lots of cities that charge a city tax. I didn't realize how many! Here's a sample:

Wilmington, DE.....1.25%
Bowling Green, KY ... 1.85%
Florence, KY ..... 2%
Lexington, KY .... 2.25%
Baltimore, MD .... 3.05%
Most Michigan cities .... 2.5%
Kansas City, MO ..... 1%
NYC ....... 2.9% - 3.65%
Birmingham, AL ..... 1%
Ohio Cities ...... .4% - 3%

https://www.thebalance.com/cities-that-levy-income-taxes-319...

So were Will from one of these cities and assuming all his winnings were subject to the city tax, for each 1% of tax, his tax bill would go up by $24,622. So if a resident of NYC, that would be another $89,871 at the 3.65% rate.

BruceM
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It would not bother me if in exchange for the tax/fee I received something tangible in return. The problem is that almost never happens.

I remember when we sold our home around 15 years ago. At the closing I was told we had to pay the McGreevey tax, which was an additional 1% of the sale price. I asked our lawyer "What exactly do we get for this almost $4k fee"? I was told "Absolutely nothing, except that if you do not pay it in full at the closing, there will not be a closing".

McGreevey was our NJ governor who resigned from office due to a personal scandal. Like most democratic (and some republican) governors, instead of reducing expenses to balance the budget, he always looked for ways to increase revenues. In this case since the real estate market was heating up, it looked like some ripe fruit to pick off from the rube sellers. It is still there.

He also passed a millionaires tax that was sold as only being necessary for 2-3 years so the budget problems could be permanently fixed. While it did expire, it came back a couple of years later and our current socialist governor wants to raise the top rate even higher than the temporary one from a decade and a half ago.

McGreevey also took the states tobacco settlement funds, turned the 30 year payout into immediate cash, spent the entire amount of cash and then put out bonds that the state would have to make good on if the annual payments ever stopped. The real sin here was that the annual funds were supposed to be used to defray future costs of medical care for smokers who were uninsured or under insured. There was no money left for the original purpose.

I guess these things all fall into the legalized robbery category. The Jeopardy winner resides in a no income tax state (Nevada). Yet he is required to pay the top income tax rate to California merely because the show was recorded there. What does he get for that large contribution? They have their hands in everyone's pockets.

I have to laugh when the Hollywood crowd complains about states like Georgia passing laws that offend their liberal sensibilities. They are threatening to pull their film business dealings from there. It begs the question of why they wouldn't film almost all of their projects in beautiful California. Apparently the exorbitant costs and regulations there are a considerable factor in the production equation. Will they do what is best for the business or will they let their costs and efficiencies get out of control over their political views?


BG
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I have to laugh when the Hollywood crowd complains about states like Georgia passing laws that offend their liberal sensibilities. They are threatening to pull their film business dealings from there. It begs the question of why they wouldn't film almost all of their projects in beautiful California. Apparently the exorbitant costs and regulations there are a considerable factor in the production equation. Will they do what is best for the business or will they let their costs and efficiencies get out of control over their political views?


Trust me, those of us in Georgia laughed at it, too. We know the huge tax breaks the Hollywood folks get to film here. No matter how much whining they do, they won't leave until they are can find a place that will be cheaper for them. I thought it was hilarious when Ms. Milano said she would not work in Georgia any more. All I kept thinking was, "So basically, you won't be working."
Course, my second thought was, "Like you're working now???"

Kathleen
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