Tax Law Blog: Taxing Olympic Winnings


You may or may not have known that Olympic medalists receive a cash prize for winning a medal (in addition to the physical medal, the notoriety, and the likelihood of endorsements). U.S. medalists receive $25,000 cash for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. That prize money is considered income and therefore is subject to taxation in the United States, just like any other income. You may remember a prior post on this blog during the 2012 Summer Olympics regarding a proposal to exclude Olympic winnings from gross income. Again in 2014, a member of Congress has proposed a similar bill to exempt U.S. athletes from taxation on their medals and prizes.  The bill is called the Tax Exemptions for American Medalists (yes, that abbreviates to the TEAM Act). If prior years are any indication, the bill will be talked about by various news sources, but generally will not receive much support in Congress.  I would not be surprised if we have a similar story in August 2016, when the 2016 Summer Olympics begin. 

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