Of course they do, especially when the Olympics roll around the IRS loves all those gold medals the U.S.A. Collects. Why? Because of the athleticism, the glory to the country, the accomplishments of these gifted athletes? Nope, not a chance. They love it because it means they can collect bundles of money as taxes on the medals…..and the performance bonus they receive from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Isn’t that special!
Here we have athletes who have trained all their lives for this moment in the spotlight. Parents and families who have sacrificed for years to make sure their siblings got the very best training and coaching to become future Olympians. Then the dream is reached, they make the Olympic team, the families save every penny to make the trip to London to see their offspring perform and hopefully win the gold, or at the least a silver or bronze. Then the moment is realized for the Allison Schmitts, Gabby Douglases, Missy Franklins, Adrian Nathans and all the other that have won gold for the USA thus far. They take to the stand proudly with their medals, hear our National Anthem being played and it is a moment they will never forget. But then, neither will the IRS!
You see, because the U.S. Is one of a very few countries, if not the only country, where monetary bonuses are not paid by the government, it is the U.S. Olympic Committee that doles out the bonuses of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10 for bronze. The money comes from a variety of private source, but not the government. So that being the case the IRS taxes every athlete that wins a medal, for example it cost $236 in taxes to the IRS for a gold medal. Then they also take 35% of the bonus money these athletes get. So let’s say an athlete gets 3 gold medals and a $75,000 bonus, the IRS has their hand out for about $28,000 of that money. Isn’t that wonderful of Uncle Sam?
The argument from some is that these athletes will make millions in endorsements, so what’s the big deal about forking over that money to the IRS? The big deal is that very, very few of these athletes will land the big million dollar endorsements for companies and products, only the “names” might warrant that. Take the guy from skeet shooting, chances are no one will even remember his name and he might get a $500 check for endorsing Bubba’s Gun Shop in Bumfuck, Georgia! Then there are a number of athletes that will turn down endorsement to keep their amateur standing in competition.
Sorry, I just don’t think it is fair to these athletes who work hard all their life to bring glory to the country in the Olympics and then have the IRS on their doorstep with their hand out. Yep, they sure do have a heart of, or should we say, for gold! There is definitely something wrong with this picture!
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AANShare This!
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