Team USA Olympians and Paralympians are visiting Washington today to celebrate their success at the 2016 Rio Games. The two teams, who earned a combined 236 medals this year, will be greeted with some good news: Congress is working to make sure athletes do not face a tax bill for their success.
Traditionally, Team USA athletes have paid tax on the medals they’ve won during the Olympic or Paralympic games. Last week, the House took steps to end this unfair practice by passing the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act (H.R. 5946), sponsored by Ways and Means Member Bob Dold (R-IL). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation exempts from tax the medals and prizes awarded to Team USA athletes by the U.S. Olympic Committee for their winning performances during the Olympic and Paralympic games.
As Rep. Dold explained in a recent statement:
“The vast majority of Olympic and Paralympic athletes will never sign an endorsement deal or get paid millions of dollars to compete. They’re school teachers, full-time students, retail workers and more … [but] the IRS forces our Olympic and Paralympic champions to pay a penalty for their success. Our bipartisan bill ensures that these athletes can remain focused on fulfilling their Olympic and Paralympic dreams without the fear of getting a huge tax bill in the mail.”
And as Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said:
“After these athletes excel in their sport and bring home a medal, the IRS welcomes them home with a tax bill. Congressman Dold’s legislation would change this and ensure that Team USA athletes will never face a larger tax burden for winning Olympic and Paralympic medals.”