U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced The Olympic Tax Elimination Act, a bill that would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their hard-earned medals. Currently, Olympians who win medals also receive honorariums in the form of cash payments of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collecting taxes on these amounts.
"Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness," said Rubio. "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home."
"We need a fundamental overhaul of our tax code, but we shouldn't wait any time we have a chance to aggressively fix ridiculous tax laws like this tax on Olympians' medals and prize money," he added. "We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it."
The Olympic Tax Elimination Act, would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the tax on Olympic medals and prize money won by United States athletes. If enacted into law, the gross income of Olympic athletes "shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games." This would apply to prizes and awards received after December 31, 2011. A copy of the bill is available here.