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Should United States Olympic medalists have to pay taxes on their awards?
A current law mandates it and two Republican lawmakers want to change it.
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio this week proposed legislation to eliminate the federal tax Olympians must pay on their medals, starting with the London Games.
“One of the greatest joys of the Olympics is to watch our athletes perform at the highest levels of competition,” Schock said in a statement. “Apparently, the sacrifices they make for their success doesn’t stop once they receive their Olympic medals."
U.S. Olympic athletes who win medals also receive honorariums for their successes: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. The law currently says medalists must add the prize money, plus the cost of their medal, to their taxable income and pay 35 percent.
Schock and Rubio called the tax a form of punishment for successful Olympians.
“Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home," Rubio said.
The legislation would eliminate taxes on Olympic medals and honorariums received after Dec. 31, 2011, and medalists' gross income “shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games."