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Should U.S. Olympians Have to Pay Taxes on Their Medals and Prize Winnings? (As of Now, They Do)

Sports 2012/08/05 22:36:18
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Last week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying federal taxes on their medals and prize money. "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back at home," he said in a statement.

Under the current policy, Americans winning in London will add the value of their medals (around $650 for gold, $330 for silver, and $5 for bronze) and their prize winnings ($25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze) to their taxable income. At a 35% income tax rate, medal winners will end up owing the IRS around $8,750 for a gold, $5,250 for a silver, and $3,500 for a bronze.

Romney and a number of Congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have jumped to support the measure. They, and many others, are appalled that these athletes who represent the United States are being penalized for their successes. However, others argue that Olympic medalists do not merit preferential treatment.

“The fact is that prize money from athletic victories is income, and there is no good reason for the government to treat that income differently than the income of all the non-Olympic athletes who earn analogous types of income,” wrote Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic. “Why should Olympic athletes be exempted from paying taxes on their prize money, but not professional golfers, or poker players, or winners of literary prizes, or folks who win the lottery?”

What do you think SodaHeads? Should U.S. Olympians have to pay taxes on their medals and prize winnings?

Read More: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/0...

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Top Opinion

  • Robshock 2012/08/05 22:43:24
    No
    Robshock
    +11
    They are going to be paying HEAVILY on money they get from endorsements. Why charge them for the medals and the honorarium?

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Opinions

  • P. Sturm 2012/09/15 17:43:35
    No
    P. Sturm
    Only if the hock it, otherwise they aren't seeing income from it.
  • mischellene.ball 2012/08/30 13:52:55
    No
    mischellene.ball
    They are representing their country and achieving incredible things through hard work and discipline. The entire country benefits from this. Then again, I also think that prize money from anything shouldn't be taxed. I think it's just another way for the government to rip people off. Income from work is fine but if you win the lottery, contest, or other prize money then it should not be taxed. I also do not feel that gifts, child support, etc. should be taxed. Here in Canada they were taxing child support for a number of years. I hated it because the money was already taxed once and then because the parent uses the money to support their child it got taxed again when it went to the cusodial parent. If the parents were living together it wouldn't have been taxed twice. It drove me crazy. Taxing Olympians is just another government rip-off.
  • EdWhiteSpace 2012/08/28 13:55:00
    No
    EdWhiteSpace
    The medals are like a trophy... While priceless to those who earned them, their only monetary value is if sold. Do softball teams pay taxes on their trophies? Do college teams pay taxes on the trophies won? The taxes paid by the winners WILL go up as they pay income on endorsements, etc. To tax their medals is ridiculous. However, I do agree the prize winnings should be taxed. Yes they earned the money, yes they worked hard for it, etc. But, in the end, they are athletes that won money. Don't we expect that athletes should pay taxes like the rest of us?
  • Camille Palmer 2012/08/28 07:27:18
    No
    Camille Palmer
    no way,...Medals should be exempted from taxation. this is their rewards for A Life time f hard Work to represent the best of American athleticism. People that have sacrificed So they can make the rest of us Look good to the world,..So we can Hold our heads High, if anything we should Be supporting them more.
  • katelyn 24/7 2012/08/20 19:28:29
    No
    katelyn 24/7
    +1
    wtf why should they???? pay tax for getting a medal paid for by another country, bt wait there are no taxes on the stanley cup or super bowl rings!!!!!!!!
  • michael katelyn... 2012/08/22 15:24:46
    michael
    +1
    The medals are not taxed. It is the bonus check that they choose to accept that is taxed. If they accept the check they become a profesional athelete. I hate it when someone writes and artical and leaves out the fact that the medals are not being taxed so it brings up contraversy like this.
  • Cero 2012/08/19 03:54:14
    No
    Cero
    That's stupid, imo
  • michael 2012/08/15 19:51:31
    Yes
    michael
    +2
    Its amazing that people have no problem that soldiers are being taxed but God forbid someone that spent four years playing a sport should not be taxed. I bet that all the people that voted no think the tax is automatic. Its not, its only if you accept the bonus check from the usoc. That is the United States Olympic Commity.

    If the govornment were to support the athletes by paying them they would loose there amature status so people that wanted to swim in college would not be able to. So if you want the govornment to support the athletes then ask the 17 yo swimmer if she wants the government to step in and pay for her training.

    They did it that way so people could decline the bonus check and keep their amature status so they could compete at a college or other amature events without being seen as a pro athlete.

    Once again THEY ARE NOT BEING TAXED ON THE MEDAL THEY ARE BEING TAXED ON THE BONUS CHECK SHOULD THEY ACCEPT IT!!!!
  • katelyn... michael 2012/09/05 23:43:53
    katelyn 24/7
    Ha Michael, there is a plain tax on just Olympic medals and as of now the bill is still there, so Once again ha!!, and fyi the government does notttttttt pay for their training duhhhh.

    Rubio Bill Eliminates Federal Tax on Olympic Medals

    Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday to eliminate the federal government’s tax on Olympic medals, saying the levy amounted to yet another way the government tries to punish those who succeed.

    Washington Times ~Wednesday, August 1, 2012~By Stephen Dinan of
    The Washington Times
  • Quazar 2012/08/12 13:44:49
    No
    Quazar
    Of all the crap the government does, taxing someone'sgold medals that represents our country in the Olympics is probably the next to the most stupid thing ever done. The most stupid thing is to give illegal aliens monetary support from the Social Security bank acount. Now that's just stupid and dumb!
  • firozali a mulla 2012/08/12 12:09:31
    No
    firozali a mulla
    The governor of the Bank of England has urged those in the scandal-hit finance sector to learn lessons from Britain's Olympic heroes. Sir Mervyn King said the sportsmanship and work ethic displayed by the stars of the London Games needed to be embraced by those plying their trade in the City. Sunday, 12 August 2012 New hope? If it is true or we wait for Monday? The number of jobs available in the United States has risen to its highest level in four years, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said this week, providing more evidence that the job market is slowly recovering. There were 3.8 million job openings at the end of June, up 105,000 from the previous month and the most since July 2008. That is also 1.6 million more openings than when the market hit bottom in July 2009. All of the gains in May came in the private sector. The number of open government jobs declined in June, as it had in two of the preceding three months. But at 363,000, the government figure was well above the low of 280,000 reached in 2009. The government's JOLTS report - Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey - comes out more than a month after the widely followed monthly job numbers are released and, as a result, gets little attention. But it provides significant information on how the job market is changing...
    The governor of the Bank of England has urged those in the scandal-hit finance sector to learn lessons from Britain's Olympic heroes. Sir Mervyn King said the sportsmanship and work ethic displayed by the stars of the London Games needed to be embraced by those plying their trade in the City. Sunday, 12 August 2012 New hope? If it is true or we wait for Monday? The number of jobs available in the United States has risen to its highest level in four years, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said this week, providing more evidence that the job market is slowly recovering. There were 3.8 million job openings at the end of June, up 105,000 from the previous month and the most since July 2008. That is also 1.6 million more openings than when the market hit bottom in July 2009. All of the gains in May came in the private sector. The number of open government jobs declined in June, as it had in two of the preceding three months. But at 363,000, the government figure was well above the low of 280,000 reached in 2009. The government's JOLTS report - Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey - comes out more than a month after the widely followed monthly job numbers are released and, as a result, gets little attention. But it provides significant information on how the job market is changing by asking a sampling of employers how many workers were added during the month and how many left. It also seeks information on why those people left, and on how many jobs the company has that it is seeking to fill. In normal times, one thing that stands out is just how much turnover there is. During the most recent 12 months, the government estimates that 51.4 million people started new jobs, and that 49.6 million people left old ones, voluntarily or otherwise. Those numbers may be a little inflated, since the survey is of individual sites, not of entire companies. A worker transferred from IBM's New York office to its Los Angeles office might be counted as leaving one job and starting another, for example. Still, the total number of jobs begun during the 12 months equalled 39.2 percent of the total of jobs that existed a year earlier. But the number of separations was nearly as high, equalling 37.8 percent of jobs. Before the recession began, the hiring figure was as high as 48.1 percent, while the departure figure was at 46.1 percent It is instructive to look at the total number of job openings each month since the JOLTS numbers were first calculated at the end of 2000, as well as the ratio of the number of unemployed workers to that figure. Back in 2000, when an economic boom was ending, there were nearly as many jobs available as there were unemployed workers. By the summer of 2009, there were 6.7 times as many unemployed workers as there were open positions. Now that number is down to 3.4, little more than half the peak level. But it remains higher than it had been until the recent recession began at the end of 2007. I think I want them to swim as global warming now is on the news. The problem id if the economy is going down the water level is going up. Mr. King has a point not a good one as has watched too many tennis games. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA
    (more)
  • jeffrey Zietak 2012/08/11 14:34:02
    No
    jeffrey Zietak
    They won there money oversea not in the United States
  • michael jeffrey... 2012/08/15 19:52:53
    michael
    +3
    I served in the military overseas and was taxed, wow 10 seonds and I blew that out of the water.
  • Darr247 2012/08/11 00:53:35
    Yes
    Darr247
    +1
    Many of them refuse the prize money to keep their amateur status for college (or even high school... ask Missy Franklin), so they should only have to pay taxes on it if they actually accept it
  • Witch.Nikki.Jo 2012/08/10 17:04:43
  • Witch.N... Witch.N... 2012/08/10 17:05:45
  • DJPanicDC 2012/08/10 11:23:01
    Yes
    DJPanicDC
    Yes If there going to tax Nobel prizes they sure should tax stick thowing
  • Mm 2012/08/10 07:27:56
  • Maura :) 2012/08/10 01:48:17
    No
    Maura :)
    they just represented america by winning a medal, and now they have to pay taxes on it. that is ridiculous
  • joe mauro 2012/08/09 21:26:36
    No
    joe mauro
    unfair
  • evangel... joe mauro 2012/08/10 00:01:14
  • Mm evangel... 2012/08/10 07:29:41
  • ★Calliope★ 2012/08/09 06:38:23
    No
    ★Calliope★
    They should be exempt.
  • evangel... ★Calliope★ 2012/08/10 21:07:54
    evangelism_vision
    +1
    I agree with you.

    The next thing you will hear from Obama...


    You did not earn that without the Government? WHO RAN THE RACE? WHO DID THE DIVE? WHO GAVE UP FOUR YEARS PREPARING FOR IT? NOT OBAMA!

    AND NOT THE IRS EITHER. SHARKS
  • ★Calliope★ evangel... 2012/08/10 21:32:33
    ★Calliope★
    Gads, this makes me nuts.

    Work hard. Get ahead.

    Get penalized. Good old USA.
  • evangel... ★Calliope★ 2012/08/10 21:44:43
    evangelism_vision
    +1
    Ohhhhhhhhhh Ya the things Obama does not want in America Wonder if he give Free Food Stamps with those medals? Naaaaaaaaaaaa I guess not..... But you never know!
  • ★Calliope★ evangel... 2012/08/10 21:57:00
    ★Calliope★
    Only if you sign a pledge that you didn't win, the government did.
  • evangel... ★Calliope★ 2012/08/10 22:08:29
    evangelism_vision
    +1
    THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT WIN THE INDIVIDUAL DID, but...... for the Glory of the Country.....
  • ★Calliope★ evangel... 2012/08/11 00:28:29
    ★Calliope★
    That's how it should be.
  • evangel... ★Calliope★ 2012/08/11 00:37:35
    evangelism_vision
    +1
    I agree
  • michael evangel... 2012/08/15 19:55:02
    michael
    +3
    They are being taxed on a bonus check not the medal, if they decline the check they dont get taxed.
  • katelyn... michael 2012/08/20 19:31:10
    katelyn 24/7
    +2
    with 20k of training bills they have to accept the check just to make ends meet
  • John Walker II 2012/08/08 20:33:24
    No
    John Walker II
    Now exclude the value of the medal, and I would agree. The medal is the US's, not the individual's property.
  • Derhub 2012/08/08 18:23:37
    No
    Derhub
    Hell, why not just make the Olympic athletes Congressmen/women and they can have all the concessions morally/financially to do anything they want anyway. The lemmings putting this forward represent the same group that run the DMV....
  • Titanium X 2012/08/08 14:18:34
    No
    Titanium X
    +1
    They've trained most of their life for this. Foolish to expect them to pay taxes on the medals they won for their country. Why say they aren't special? They are special athletes who made it to the Olympics through hard work, training, perseverance, devotion to their home land !
  • HAlex1972 2012/08/08 08:39:57
    No
    HAlex1972
    Definitely not on the value of their medals! Our government just won't quit with the excuses for taxing, will it?
  • wtw 2012/08/08 02:43:42
    No
    wtw
    They are representing the US as amatuers not professionals
  • Mm wtw 2012/08/10 07:29:49
  • Denny 2012/08/08 02:41:36
    Yes
    Denny
    +1
    Why do they have "winnings" Doesn't that make them professional?? Does that mean that as in football, (Ohio State last year) you can't spend your rewards if you want to compete 4 years from now???
  • Skylaris Alanis 2012/08/08 01:03:42
    No
    Skylaris Alanis
    +1
    That is the most retarded thing I've heard all month.
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