It’s said, nothing is certain except death and taxes. The government wants a piece of every cent we make. When our Olympic heroes win medals, even they have to pay taxes.
We all see the shiny medals Olympic athletes get to wear when they win, but what you may not know is those medals come with a cash bonus. Gold medalists get a $25,000 from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Athletes who bring home silver medals get $15,000, and bronze medalists get $10,000. When the tax man comes knocking, medalist will end up having to pay $8,750 for EACH gold medal win. A silver medal will have you owing $5,250 in taxes, and a bronze will rack up $3,500 in taxes.
The tax-travaganza doesn’t just stop there. Athletes will have to pay taxes on the value of their shiny Olympic medals as well. A gold medal’s tax value of $236 will boost the tax bill up to $8,986. Silver medals are worth $135 in taxes and brings the tax total up to $5,385. A bronze medal only tacks on an extra $2 to the tax bill, bringing that total to $3,502.
To put it all in perspective, Michael Phelps ended up owing a whopping $71,888 in taxes after his record 8 gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Most countries competing in the Olympics do not tax income earned overseas; this makes the US the only country to do so. After hearing this, Florida Senator Marco Rubio proposed a bill that would exempt Olympians from being taxed on their winnings.