IRS Tax Lien Placed on D.C. Lottery

The Internal Revenue Service has placed an IRS tax lien on the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board for the amount of $8,650, which an article in the Washington Business Journal declared to be a “piddling” sum.

In the face of this IRS tax lien, the lottery is refusing to be swaying into turning over the amount, despite the promise of accruing penalties and interests. The executive of the lottery, Buddy Roogow, went so far as to say “these fines and liens are standard fare in the lottery business.”

For those not familiar with this particular business, the article goes on to say that each year, the lottery is required to produce documentation to the IRS that includes the names, addresses, and tax identification numbers of those who have won prizes in the given year that amount to more than $600 dollars. The IRS uses the information provided by the lottery to compare to its own lists of names and Social Security numbers. If the IRS finds any discrepancies between the IRS record and the list provided by the lottery, the lottery is then fined $50 for each one that does not match.

This particular IRS tax lien, filed for the December 2009 year, shows a total of 173 files that the IRS deemed mismatched. According to a calculation done in the article, this indicates that not more than 3% of lottery-provided records showed any discrepancy.

Lottery officials, as a basis for their refusal, cited that attempts had been made to check and re-check identification numbers and other identifying government-issued numbers in an effort to eliminate fraud. They declared, though, that they should not be held responsible through the government lien for something that was a nationwide fraud epidemic.


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