Monday, August 13, 2012
American Medalists Pay Taxes on THEIR MEDAL!
Someone approached me about this issue tonight and I scoffed...
"Surely not in America," I thought.
Land of the Free and and the Red, White, & Blue... ticker tape parades and the eternal right to sue.
Et cetera, Et cetera.
So, I went searching and sure enough, they are. According to an article in the Washington Post a few weeks ago, a gold medal is worth about $675, a silver clocks in at $382 and a bronze medal (due to the fact it's, well, mostly copper) runs about $5. Then there's the $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 honorarium awarded by the U.S. Olympic Committee for the three top slots. All of that is taxed when April comes around.
Basically, according to the Washington Post, win the Olympics and you fall into the same pot as someone who rocks Jeopardy and takes home the cash. Both get taxed the same way.
Now, to be fair, the WP is quoting the Americans for Tax Reform blog that is proudly a bit right of center when it comes to supporting gov't taxation. And the folks who call foul on the ATR and Sen. Marco Rubio's upcoming legislation to nix the tax, make a good point... If we let Olympic athletes off the hook for taxes, then we have to let all "winners" off the hook. That means whoever won the top prize for PowerBall could claim tax exemption. I can understand the "where does it stop?" point of view.
But, I still can't believe taxing the MEDAL. It's the Olympics for cryin' out loud.
Now, if the Ladies Water Polo team get all kinds of payola from some capitalist hawking swimwear or water-proof toenail polish, then, sure, they should pay taxes. That's the way it works. In fact, most of these athletes should have a decent tax adviser that's going to clear off any workout/travel expenses for them, so they wouldn't pay anything anyway...
But don't tax the Olympic medal. That's absurd.
"Make us proud out there, son..."
"Oh, yes sir! I want to do my best so I can help balance the National budget. One medal at a time, sir!"
"That's right, just like a good American! You'll get our country of the red in no time!"