Who knew winning an Olympic medal could be so bittersweet. Americans who are victorious in the Games can return home from London and expect paparazzi, celebrations and… taxes. On both medals and prize money won during the Olympics.
CNN suggests that a gold medal is worth $650, which means that athletes who won a gold medal would pay about $236 in taxes.
But wait, there’s more! Cash bonuses earned by these athletes will also be reduced dramatically due to these taxes.
Reuters reports that the U.S. Olympic Organizing Committee will award London champions $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bringing home a bronze. At a 35% income tax rate, bronze medalists are looking at $3,500 in taxes, silver medalists are looking at $5,250 in taxes and gold medalists are looking at $8,750 in taxes.
Then of course, many high-profile athletes will also be offered major sponsorships, only to find themselves taxed on those as well.
Luckily, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduced a bill to Congress, on Wednesday, August 1, that would exempt Olympic winners from paying federal taxes on their medals and prize money.
The lawmaker believes the penalty is ridiculous and that athletes volunteering to represent the U.S., should they come back Olympic medalist, should be solely celebrated and be honored, not taxed.