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Should Olympic Athletes Be Exempt From Taxes on Medal Winnings?

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced a bill to exempt the winnings of American athletes from taxes while competing in the Summer Olympics. Do you agree with this measure?

If an athlete representing the USA in the Summer Olympics wins big, we all get to share in that win — not just in the national honor, but also financially. Taxes are levied on the winnings, not just on the money that is won, but also on the value of the medal that goes along with it.

Some members of Congress, however, are trying to change that.

According to a story on the Huffington Post, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt the winnings of Olympians from taxes. A gold medalist reportedly wins $25,000, a silver medalist $15,000 and a bronze winner gets $10,000 — and that isn’t including the value of the medal.

Do you think that this money, earned overseas representing the USA, should be taxed? And if so, what of other star athletes? Are the earnings from the Olympics any different to the earnings of a top athlete on the local circuit such as the NFL or NBA?

Deanna Allen August 02, 2012 at 02:59 PM
According to Bankrate.com: "Professional sports players get taxed by pretty much every city and state in which they play, says Ryan Losi, CPA and executive vice president of Piascik & Associates, a Glen Allen, Va., accounting firm that represents more than 70 professional athletes." Read more here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/taxes-cost-professional-athlete.aspx.
Joy L. Woodson August 02, 2012 at 03:18 PM
"The View" is actually talking about this on their show today.
bubba bravo August 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM
If the athletes accept the money, they lose their amateur status. Therefore this tax doesn't apply unless they decide to accept money and become pro. Lot of talk about nothing. Just chance for politicians to poster. They can receive their medal($675.00 value) and retain their amateur status. Value of medal can be taxed, but I think it should be exempt from tax.
Joycelynn Richoux August 02, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I think it should definitely be tax free for our athletes. Why should Americans working abroad be tax exempt, but not our athletes? These young people work very hard and at great financial burden for themselves and their families. Our government gives nothing to the Olympic teams, so why not let them have their winnings tax free?
Eugene Patrick Devany August 02, 2012 at 06:25 PM
A Secret Deal to End the Tax War: Romney and Rubio Prove They Have a Good Sense of Humor Olympic Medal Bill is Just a Diversion to Hide Real Tax Reform Deal Each year the government gives away $1.1 trillion through tax expenditures and most of the money goes to people who do not really need the help. There is only one tax plan designed to eliminate all loopholes and revive the economy in the process. It measures wealth and economic need. In 1995 half of America shared only 3.6% of the wealth. By 2010 this share was only 1.1% for a wealth gap not seen since the Great Depression of 1929. The 2-4-8 Tax Blend lowers income tax rates to 8% by eliminating tax expenditures and replacing job killing payroll taxes with a net 2% wealth tax (excluding $15,000 cash and retirement funds). Businesses would pay the same 8% income tax rate and a 4% VAT. Congressional representatives have been discouraged from speaking publically about the plan before the election because it is strictly a nonpartisan plan which will actually fix the economy, Social Security and Medicare without government spending. Members who have pledged to fix the economy or die trying say the reforms also comply with ATR’s bipartisan no-tax pledge. Rich, poor, Muslims, Latinos, gays, big oil companies, small manufactures, Democrats, homeowners, S corporations, women, farmers, Olympic medal winners and Catholics would all be taxed with the same very low rates. www.TaxNetWealth.com
M.K. OSBORNE August 03, 2012 at 12:23 AM
If anyone gets a Tax exemption it should be our active veterans !
Concerned August 03, 2012 at 11:51 AM
AMEN.....Our Veterans certainly should be tax exempt.
Bernadette Pascal August 03, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Tax exempt status for athletes who compete in the Olympics or establish a non-profit organization to donate funds to assist the athletes.
Jim S August 03, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Marco Rubio is posturing for veep, and getting his name out on the national stage by playing off of our patriotism during the olympic games. I dont think he really cares about the tax. One post says 'The View' is already talking about this. I find politics disturbing on good days and disgusting on bad. As to the tax, I like the idea of a non-profit organization set up to pay for the tax on the medal if the winner is truly an amateur athlete and not already professional. The professional basketball and tennis players can afford it.
Georgia Democrat August 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I agree, Jim. Except, I would say about politics, disturbing and disgusting so true, but to some still interesting and sometimes even fascinating to follow. Politics . . . mostly just a lot of noise. But loud and constant noise can do a lot of damage. Voters should take the time to know the issues.
Frank Church August 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Bernadettes Idea of a Non-Profit organization is great, If they are amatures. I don't see why this would be that much of a issue. But politics have to play and prey on ALL of us.
greg August 05, 2012 at 08:20 PM
There's a facebook page... don't tax olympians that addreses this topic
Racer X August 06, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Agreed.
Racer X August 06, 2012 at 10:47 AM
I'm with Jim on political posturing. It is a disgrace.
Racer X August 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Our Olympians train very hard, sometimes for years, for a chance to represent our Country. More and more our children cannot look up to professional athletes as role models. All they have left is our Olympians. They are real heroes and should not be taxed. What little prize money any of them earn is usually not enough to even cover their expenses for participating much less all the time they have put in training. If we are not paying them for their efforts, which we do not, they should be allowed to keep their winnings.
Racer X August 06, 2012 at 10:57 AM
I like the idea of non-profits being set up to assist the athletes, but not to pay taxes. I think they should not be taxed at all.

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