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Olympic Fever

By Michael Rhinehart, Staff Accountant

With a record-breaking Olympic performance in the books for the United States, we welcome our athletes back with a round of applause. Team USA led all countries for the sixth year in a row with 121 medals. Of these medals brought home, 46 were golds, 37 silvers, and 38 bronzes. They will return as champions to a life full of television appearances, cereal boxes, books and more. However, there is one unfavorable aspect of their return that many might not consider.

Taxes.

Most countries subsidize the cost of training and do not charge their athletes for winning, however, not the United States. Each athlete winning a medal also received a cash bonus from the U.S. Olympic Committee, both of which are taxed.

Gold medalists receive a $25,000 cash bonus and a medal valued at $600, silver medalists receive $15,000 and a medal values at $300 and bronze medalists receive $10,000 and a medal valued at $4. Taxes for each individual medal equal $9,900, $5,940, and $3,960 respectively

Looking at combined tax amounts for our athletes returning from Rio, $455,400 of tax will be assessed to gold medalists, $219,780 for silver medalists and $150,480 for bronze medalists. In total, America will be taxing our athletes $825,660 in taxes. Quite a large sum taxed to those who gave up everything to compete and represent Team USA.

Attempts to change this victory tax are currently in the works following years of debating the issue. We look forward to Tokyo in 2020 in the pursuit of a “tax free” victory.

References

Erb, Kelly Phillips. Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 5 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.

Merevick, T. (2016). US Athletes Have to Pay Up to $10,000 in Taxes Just for Winning an Olympic Gold Medal. Retrieved August 22, 2016, from https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/rio-olympics-2016-do-american-olympians-pay-taxes-on-their-medals

Smith, L. (2016). Olympians Have to Pay a Pretty Steep “Victory Tax” on Their Medals. Retrieved August 22, 2016, from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/news/a39995/united-states-olympic-medal-taxes/

“Tax Topics – Topic 602 Child and Dependent Care Credit.” Tax Topics – Topic 602 Child and Dependent Care Credit. IRS, n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.

Team USA Concludes Record-Breaking Rio 2016 Olympic Games With 121 Medals, 46 Golds. (August 21, 2016). Retrieved August 22, 2016, from http://www.teamusa.org/News/2016/August/21/Team-USA-Concludes-Record-Breaking-Rio-2016-Olympic-Games-With-121-Medals-46-Golds

Thomas, Z. (n.d.). For US Olympians, gold medals come with a hefty tax bill. Retrieved August 22, 2016, from http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37099066

Tomaka, L. (n.d.). Policy & RESEARCH. Retrieved August 25, 2016, from http://www.csgmidwest.org/policyresearch/1115-qom-participation-fees.aspx

Smith, L. (2016). Olympians Have to Pay a Pretty Steep “Victory Tax” on Their Medals. Retrieved August 22, 2016, from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/news/a39995/united-states-olympic-medal-taxes/

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