US Olympic medalists have to pay A LOT of taxes on their winnings

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

U.S. Olympic medalists will have to pay taxes on their awards that could result in more than a third of their winnings going to the IRS.

Prizes awarded by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) are subject to federal taxes because they count as income earned abroad. The USOC hands out $25,000 for gold medals, $15,000 for silver medals, and $10,000 for bronze. But athletes in the top tax bracket, including snowboarder Shaun White, will have to fork over 39.6 percent of their winnings.

The 230 U.S. Olympic athletes at the Sochi Winter Games in Russia will have to pay between $1,000 and $9,900 in taxes if they win medals, according to a chart compiled by Americans for Tax Reform. A bronze medalist in the lowest tax bracket would have to pay $1,000 in taxes. A gold medalist in the highest tax bracket would owe $9,900.

An Olympic gold medalist in the middle 28 percent tax bracket would have to pay $7,000 of the $25,000 they make from USOC.

“We believe in the inherent dignity and equality of every human being, regardless of race or religion, creed or sexual orientation,” President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address to a standing ovation from Congress. “Next week the world will see one expression of that commitment when Team USA marches the red, white and blue into the Olympic stadium and brings home the gold.”

Follow Patrick on Twitter