Taxing an Olympic Gold

Our athletes will be taxed for winning gold when they come home from the Olympic Games in London. Each Olympic medal will be charged a tax upon the winner’s return to the country. Costs can range from paying $2 for winning bronze, and up to $236 for gold. The Olympic medals have monetary value, and are therefore taxed according to their value, but who knew we were taxing our Olympians for winning?

The U.S. Olympic Committee helps cover the costs. They pay competitors a monetary reward according to the medal they won. Winners of gold will be given $25,000; silver, $15,000; and bronze, $10,000.

However, even this reward money is taxed upon return to the states. As a form of income, the government will tax competitors up to 35% of their total winnings. This means that people who win gold could be paying up to $8,500. That’s a lot of money to drop in one go.

Other countries offer monetary incentives to their athletes if they win. Italy is promising a $182,400 payout for Italian gold winners—the highest in the world; Russia, $135,000; and France, $65,200. As to whether they are also taxing their winners as well, nothing has been revealed. A positive look on Michael Phelps missing the winners’ platform in these games is that he will have less of a bill to pay coming home.

What do you think we should do? Should we join our competitors in offering rewards for their service competing in the Olympics instead of taxing them?

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