Along with the medals, the three medalists are also awarded a cash prize; the gold medalist is awarded $25,000, while a silver medalist is awarded $15,000, and a bronze medalist takes home $10,000. These United States athletes are currently being taxed at 35% by the IRS, one of the higher tax rates, although other may be taxed at a lower 28 or 15% rate.
Essentially, this cash prize is what the Olympians are being taxed on, the medals themselves only being a small portion of the tax. For instance, advocacy group ATR (Americans for Tax Reform) reports the bronze medal is taxed for approximately $2, while gold and silver medals would add $236 and $135.
Efforts are being made to cease athletes from being taxed. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida is presenting a bill that would not allow any medal won since December 31, 2011 to be taxed.
“We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it,” he said in a statement.