More than Medals: U.S. Athletes Bring Home Money...and Tax Liability

By Heather Taylor0 Comments

Olympic medalsAs the winter games draw to a close in Sochi, it’s ever apparent how much pressure the athletes face to win a medal. What’s not as well known is that in some countries, Olympians who earn medals also earn prize money as part of their winnings. This is good news for the U.S. Government, which shares in their winnings in the form of taxes.

A recent article from Yahoo Sports outlines the amount of prize money the U.S. Olympic committee gives and possible scenarios for taxation of athletes in different tax brackets.
In the U.S.:
  • Gold medalists: $25,000
  • Silver medalists: $15,000
  • Bronze medalists: $10,000
Here’s how the tax scenario could play out:
“According to ATR (Americans for Tax Reform), those in the top tax bracket (39.6 percent) — like, say, Shaun White or any Team USA hockey player — will pay $9,900 on a gold medal — while those in the bottom tax bracket (10 percent) will pay $2,500 for a gold. Many developed nations do not tax Olympians for their medal prizes. On the other hand, others such as Great Britain don't give their medalists cash prizes at all.”

The article details the latest attempt to exempt Olympic athletes from being taxed on their winnings. Read more here.