I was listening to SiriusXM NASCAR channel 90 and they made mention of how much Olympic athletes make when they medal. I thought it was pretty interesting, but then my jaw dropped when I heard that our country taxes our athletes for this incredible feat that they accomplish! What???
Yes, when someone makes money, they pay their fair share in taxes. We all do. Even if those with less seem to pay a higher percentage out of their stipends. But that’s for a totally different day.
After hearing what they said, I went off to look this up and sure enough, there it was.
When the United States athlete achieves the most rare event of winning a gold medal at the Olympics, they also win $25k with that medal. And likewise, the silver garners $15k and bronze $10k. I never realized they get paid for their achievements. I thought that was pretty cool.
But then we find out that the athletes are taxed on their winnings and the medal in their trophies.
Per a calculation of the Americans for Tax Reform, they estimate that athletes can be taxed up to 35% plus a $236 tax of the gold medal, while the bronze is taxed at $2.
Or as one example was put in the CBSSports article,
U.S. Swimmer Michael Phelps made history on Tuesday by taking home his 19th medal to become the most decorated athlete at the games in history and has ponied up his fair share of tax money over the years.
Using those tax estimates, the Maryland native has paid as much as $132,808 to Uncle Sam so far for his 14 golds and 2 bronze medals earned prior to London. Toss in the three medals he’s earned in 2012 and the total bill jumps to $152,564 and counting.
The radio correspondents mentioned that for these high achievements, maybe Olympians should be given a bit of a break. They spend 25 hours a day, 8 days a week training for this and that should be recognized. Eh, I don’t disagree with that idea, but if that started to happen, then who knows who would come of the wood work to beg for breaks?
But then again, no other country taxes their taxpayers for overseas income. Movement is afoot to have that particular practice stopped.
But the point of this piece, I had found it interesting that Olympians net some cash for their achievements.