Olympic medalists to get a visit from the taxman

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Some of the athletes who earn medals and accept money during the Olympics can also expect to receive a visit from the taxman.

In addition to the medals athletes receive at the podium, the U.S. Olympic Organizing Committee awards athletes $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday, center-right advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) issued a brief summary of just how much winning a gold, silver or bronze medal in London this year could cost athletes.

According to ATR, accepted winnings will be applied on top of an athlete’s taxable income and could be taxed up to a rate of 35 percent. Based on their assumptions, gold medal winners could pay the IRS up to $8,750, silver medalists could pay up to $5,250, and bronze up to $3,500 on their winnings.

Not only could the awards be taxed, but the value of the medals are also taxable, ATR says. The low-tax advocacy group pins the value of a gold medal at $675, a silver medal at $385 and a bronze at under $5. ATR’s tax assumptions render gold, silver and bronze medal winners further on the hook for up to $236, $135 and $2 respectively.

While ATR contends that the medals are taxable, Alex Knight, a tax partner at Atlanta’s Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, told Reuters on Monday that medals likely will not be taxed.

“I have to imagine that would be a public relations nightmare,” she said.

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