Should Olympic Medal Winners be Taxed?

by Steven Sodini 15. August 2012 14:15
The closing of the 2012 Olympic Games this past Sunday has left many of us wanting more, but more summer Olympics will have to wait another 1,450 days until the opening ceremony in 2016. However, the 2012 Olympic Games have left us pondering the question; should Olympic medals winners be taxed? Under the current tax code, Olympians who win medals must pay tax on the value of their medal, which in the case of a gold medal is about $675, a silver medal is $385 and a bronze medal is just under $5. Olympians must also pay tax on the honorariums from the U.S. Olympic Committee, which are $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. For an American gold medalist in the highest tax bracket, this could result in a tax burden of almost $9,000.  Currently, legislators have introduced a bill that will exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying tax on their medals and honorariums. The bill will not exempt the salaries or endorsements of the Olympians, but will attempt to alleviate tax on their success in the Olympic Games. Since introduction of this bill, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have expressed support for it. However, the bill has seen opposition from other legislators stating that other taxpayers should not have to burden additional tax for Olympic medal winners. Unfortunately, with the Olympic Games behind us, many of us are trying to remember what we used to watch before the 2012 Olympic Games, because for seventeen days we spent our free time dedicated to watching each Olympic event. However, with the success of American Olympians, the question remains: should Olympic medal winners be taxed?
Categories: Tax