Olympic athletes pay for glory in blood, sweat, and tears, but those Americans fortunate enough to return home with a medal will be forced to pay Uncle Sam, too.
Under provisions within the IRS code of 1986, Olympic athletes are required to pay taxes on the prize money that accompanies their medals. For those competing in the 2012 London games those prize sums (called honorariums) range from $10,000 for a bronze to $25,000 for a gold and will be accompanied by tax bills between $3,500 and $9,000 per medal.
Seeking to remedy a fee that he called “a classic example of [tax code] madness,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced “The Olympic Tax Elimination Act,” which would exempt prize money associated with Olympic medals from an athlete’s taxable income.
“Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home,” Rubio said in a written statement.
Should the U.S. Olympic team equal it’s 2008 Beijing medal count of 110, its athletes will be on the hook for a combined $650,000 in taxes.