Around the world, lotteries have been launched to raise money for government programs and community initiatives. The funding is not only derived from ticket sales but also from taxes that winners must pay on their prizes. In Europe, tax rates differ from country to country, with each government taking a different portion of the prize.
In America, all lottery winnings are taxed at a rate of 25%. This money is then used by the federal government to fund various initiatives. Across the pond, the same applies, and taxes range from 10% to 20%, depending on the country.
In Greece, a new law was passed that will tax all lottery winners 10% on their prizes. The legislation was met with a great deal of resistance, as taxes must be paid on absolutely all winnings - even those worth €1. In other countries, there is a €500 to €3500 minimum that players must win in order for their winnings to be taxed. In Portugal, players must spend 20% of their winnings on taxes while Romania requires a 25% lottery tax. In Poland, the lottery tax is 10% and in Italy, it is 6%.
If you're an avid lottery player, it seems that the best places to live would be France and the United Kingdom. All winnings, no matter how large, are paid out as lump sums and they are not taxed. It may sound too good to be true, but this is actually the case. Over 8500 players have been made into millionaires thanks to the French lottery, and none were required to spend any of their money on paying taxes. In the United Kingdom, the lottery is known for awarding millions of pounds in funding to various community organizations, but these donations are derived from ticket sales rather than lottery taxes. Other tax-free lottery locations are Austria, Germany and Ireland.
For tax-free winnings, you can also play the EuroMillions lottery draw. Renowned for paying nearly a billion euros in cash prizes over the years, this generous lottery has made thousands of Europeans into millionaires. Winners of this jackpot receive their prizes as lump sums, and they do not have to pay taxes.
However, there are some exceptions. In January 2013, the Spanish government introduced a 20% tax on all EuroMillions prizes. Portugal has had a similar rule for quite some time, requiring all winners to pay out 20%. In Switzerland, EuroMillions winners have to pay taxes, but it varies depending on the state in which the winner lives.