US Medalists Pay Up to $10K in Taxes on Winnings at Sochi Games

US Medalists Pay Up to $10K in Taxes on Winnings at Sochi Games

The United States sent 230 Olympians to Sochi, Russia to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Uncle Sam will award any winner with a congratulations and a tax receipt on their prizes.

The USOC awards prizes to U.S. Olympic medal winners: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Relative to each athlete’s income tax bracket, some top earners such as Shaun White could end up paying over a third (39.6 percent) of their winnings to the IRS.

There are a few members in Congress who do not believe the winners should pay taxes. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) submitted the Tax Exemptions for American Medalists Act (TEAM Act) and it would exempt winners from paying any taxes on their earnings.

“This needless tax illustrates how complicated and burdensome our tax code has become,” Farenthold said. “We need a fairer system for all, and eliminating this unnecessary tax burden on our athletes is a good way to start.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and then GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney supported legislation to exempt winners during the 2012 London Summer Games. 

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