Winnings such as Tacoma woman's game show prizes come with a price

Staff writerJanuary 7, 2014 

Figuring out what the state and federal taxes on Sheree Heil’s “The Price is Right” winnings will be is about as complicated as, well, filing taxes.

But tax bracket information and a few assumptions about her financial situation start to paint a picture of what the cost could be.

The game show itself didn’t have anything to say about that.

“Unfortunately I can’t comment on anything tax-related,” show spokeswoman Molly O’Gara said via email. “We’d prefer the story to focus mainly on her time on the show and not on the behind-the-scenes portion if possible.”

But based on the comments and questions that flooded into The News Tribune after the first report of Heil’s big win, her tax bill is something people want to know.

Heil will have to pay California state income tax on her $170,345 in winnings, which could be something like $11,000, according to the calculator on the state’s Franchise Tax Board website. That could vary based on her salary and whether she files separately from her husband, among other factors. 

While she won’t pay California taxes on her Washington income, her total earnings for the year could affect which California tax bracket she’s in.

And then there’s Uncle Sam’s piece.

According to the 2013 federal tax rate schedules, Heil would pay more than $35,000 if her winnings were the only income the couple had last year.

Luckily for Heil, she said her brother-in-law is an accountant.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268

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