Economics of Liberty Headline News

“Victory Tax” on Olympic Athletes Killed in the Senate

by Micah J. Fleck

Apparently, even the men and women who represent us on the olympic field must stand in line and get shafted by Uncle Sam on their earned money – at least, that’s what the IRS wants to happen. But for once, congress actually took a stand for its people and voted in favor of a bill that would make olympians exempt from the IRS “victory tax” that takes a large percentage away from people who win cash prizes on game shows, sports players who play for a living, and up until this latest vote, people who earn medals in the olympics.

According to the Associated Press:

The Senate gave final legislative approval Thursday to a bill that would block the IRS from taxing most medals or other prizes awarded to U.S. Olympians.

The U.S. Olympic Committee awards cash prizes to medal winners: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. That’s in addition to the cash value of the medals themselves — about $600 for gold, $300 for silver. Bronze medals have little monetary value.

Because the money is considered earned income, it is taxed — a practice some lawmakers refer to the “victory tax.”

The bill would allow Olympic taxes on high-profile athletes such as swimmer Michael Phelps or NBA star Carmelo Anthony who earn more than $1 million a year.

For Phelps, the tax bill for his five golds and one silver won in Rio could be steep — as much as $55,000. Gymnast Simone Biles faces a possible $43,000 tax bill for her haul of four golds and one bronze.

The bill has been approved by both the House and the Senate and is now on its way to the president – let’s hope he doesn’t veto it.

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