Show of HandsShow of Hands

Show Of Hands August 16th, 2016 2:51pm

USA Olympic medalists are required to pay taxes on the value of their medals. Fair policy, or should this income be tax exempt?

57 Liked

Comments: Add Comment

Hooah Fmr. Zia
08/20/16 9:26 am

That's silly.

Annabelle41 Michigan
08/18/16 10:44 pm

This is a ridiculous law. Most of these kids don't even have enough to get there and compete let alone having to pay taxes on a metal if they win it. The law should be abolished big-time.

08/18/16 2:26 pm

Excuse me while I go shed a solitary tear. These poor athletes just can't catch a break. Paying taxes must make life so hard. These men and women truly know what it's like to live under tyranny.

lovesquirt Hawkeyes
08/18/16 10:48 am

Change the countries name to Taxland.

haku1071 Las Vegas
08/17/16 1:10 pm

Exempt for proudly representing the country.

TiredofIt Texas
08/17/16 5:57 am

It's not the "value of the medal". The USOC pays each athlete $25k for winning a gold and less for silver and bronze and that is taxed. It definitely should not be, but they aren't taxing the specific gold that the medal is made from.

Captainbstring Biden is a Clown
08/16/16 11:54 pm

Then, when they get their endorsement deals they can pay taxes on the money they earn like the rest of us.

theNobamist Silicon Valley
08/16/16 11:45 pm

"We're so proud of you! Now pay up."
That sucks.

pr3ttypee Brooklyn, NY
08/17/16 4:37 am

Much like how they treat EVERY citizen in America. We all get taxed for our "good job" on a daily basis, are they different because they're physically fit?

TiredofIt Texas
08/17/16 5:59 am

The difference is only the winners get taxed. If you don't win a medal, and therefore get paid the "reward" by the USOC, you don't get taxed.

Panther92 Colorado
08/16/16 8:47 pm

The US government has a taxing problem.

LazySteelworker USA
08/16/16 8:03 pm

The number of people that instantly outrage against this that don't even have a clue about the the attached article! Smh...

themahcrow Louisiana
08/16/16 7:09 pm

Fair. I have to pay taxes on what I earn, why shouldn't they?

chance Sirnotappearinginthisfilm
08/16/16 7:43 pm

Because it's not monitory. It would be like paying taxes in a trophy you won.

sproded Minneapolis
08/16/16 11:04 pm

Except the trophy could be worth thousands of dollars not just a couple dollars.

theNobamist Silicon Valley
08/16/16 11:44 pm

It isn't worth anything (monetarily) until they sell it. That transaction has taxes attached to it.

theNobamist Silicon Valley
08/16/16 11:45 pm

And if they get promotional deals from their notoriety, those paychecks are taxed.

TiredofIt Texas
08/17/16 6:01 am

The monetary reward is that the USOC pays them $25k for a gold and idk how much for silver and bronze. They aren't taxed "for the medal" but for the money they get paid for winning it. I don't think the money should be taxed, but they aren't taxing "the trophy".

cpaswr just say the letters
08/16/16 7:04 pm

I have no problem if the prize money ends up being exempted from income.

But, there are several misleading things about the question.

First, it assumes that the entire prize for each medal is taxed at the highest possible rate. This is likely true for athletes like Michael Phelps or other athletes that have money rolling in from sponsors. But, this isn't the case for the majority of athletes. The money will be taxed at the current marginal rate.

Second, there is no mention of expenses incurred to earn that income. Any expenses incurred for training, travel, meals, lodging, equipment, etc., are legitimate business expenses that are deducted from income.


camlop San Diego, CA
08/16/16 6:40 pm

Wtf? Do we get taxed for EVERYTHING?! Jesus.

08/16/16 6:26 pm

It is fair, because the government also pays them for winning their medals.

Gunfighter06 Iowa, since 1846
08/16/16 6:15 pm

That's total BS. They should not be penalized for being top three in the WORLD at their sport.

08/16/16 6:31 pm

Giancarlo Stanton is one of the best in the world at his sport, and he makes millions of dollars a year for it. If the government didn't tax Olympians on their medals, then that means they shouldn't tax Stanton for the millions he is making this year. Being professional athletes is their job, and this is how they make money at it, and it would be unfair for the rest of us if professional athletes were exempt from income taxes.

Gunfighter06 Iowa, since 1846
08/16/16 6:53 pm

Yeah, but the actual value of their medals? That's like taxing an NHL champion for his share of the Stanley Cup.

sproded Minneapolis
08/16/16 11:05 pm

Well the winner of the Stanley cup doesn't actually own the cup they just rent it so to speak for the year. However, if a play used the Stanley cup to make money somehow they would be taxed on that.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:40 am

They receive actual cash money in addition to the medal. They aren't taxed on the value of the medal, but the money as any other income.

The question is misleading.

sfcren Wyoming
08/16/16 6:13 pm

Thats among the most asinine things I have heard in quite some time.

DiQuellaPira Columbus, Ohio
08/16/16 6:03 pm

Make NBC pay it. They shamelessly exploit those folks

08/16/16 5:51 pm

Why should the pay be penalized for excelling at their Olympic event? This goes so far against common sense , it isn't even funny.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 6:11 pm

The same reason everyone else is penalized for working, investing, winning competitions, etc.

PyroSadist like my comments follow
08/16/16 4:33 pm

The actual cash value of the precious metals in a gold Olympic metal is under 1000 bucks... I do think the US can afford to let those athletes slide... but if they do not that taxes should not be overwhelming

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:44 am

It's not the value of the medal they are taxed on. It's the prize money they get in addition. The question is misleading. They get 25k for a gold (other amounts for silver and bronze) so that money is factored into their income as any other income.

08/16/16 4:19 pm

A $9,900.00 tax on the medals is BS. If winners were given a cash prize, maybe that'd be ok. But charging them for winning makes it less lucrative to win gold for one's country. Just my opinion.

08/16/16 4:52 pm

They are given cash. American athletes also get a monetary payout from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The committee pays gold medal winners $25,000, silver medal winners $15,000, and bronze medal winners $10,000.

PyroSadist like my comments follow
08/16/16 5:22 pm

If they are given cash (and I did not know that they were...corroboration and or Source please) they should be taxed on that income

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:45 am

They are given cash. That's why they are taxed. It's income, taxed the same as the rest of their income. The question is misleading.

I think the linked article explains this.

smoothboy1982 Lexington Ky
08/16/16 4:16 pm

How do your charge a champions representing us

PyroSadist like my comments follow
08/16/16 5:25 pm

The same way that you charge a US Soldier sailor Airman or Marine Federal taxes when they are paid by federal taxes

cato Santa Barbara, California
08/16/16 3:46 pm

Seems unfair on the face of it but really why shouldn't they? I have to pay tax on things I take risk on being successful down the road.

dodofuzzic Canada
08/16/16 3:32 pm

But they get paid for their medals? So are they getting double taxed or is this question worded wrong and they're just getting taxed on the money they receive?

sproded Minneapolis
08/16/16 11:06 pm

I feel like it's no different then someone in the military getting taxed on the money they received from the taxpayers.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:46 am

They're taxed on the money. The question is misleading.

weallhave1 Tennessee
08/16/16 3:29 pm

Why should Olympic prizes be any different than everything else? Those that think it should be changed, what are you doing to change the current "unfair" tax structure now? Look up the Fair Tax.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 3:25 pm

Well, both really. It's fair in that it applies equally to everyone, but it should definitely be changed.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 3:27 pm

That said, if the prize(s) count as income, then any expense(s) incurred in the process of earning said prize(s) should be deducted to determine net (taxable) income.

PyroSadist like my comments follow
08/16/16 4:34 pm

Excellent Point. How much do you think Michael Phelps has spent on Swim Club memberships

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 4:54 pm

Probably a lot more than he earned in prize money and medals, especially when you include travel, meals, etc.

PyroSadist like my comments follow
08/16/16 5:18 pm

Unless I am wrong Olympic athletes do not get prize money...they would be professionals and not amateurs. And I would hope that the US has to fly the athletes and at least one of their family members to the Olympics... But I will admit that I do not know. Does anyone? And if they are flown over there does the US government pay for the housing for the family members... My guess would be no... Nor should they.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 6:09 pm

They do get prize money for winning as well as the medal(s). My travel I was referring to his travel while training, auditioning, trying out, competing, etc. Everything that was spent in order to win the prize(s).

sproded Minneapolis
08/16/16 11:07 pm

But for a player like Phelps, the money he receives from winning a gold medal from the US is pennies compared to what he receives from his sponsors.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/17/16 4:10 am

Are you trying to say that earnings shouldn't be taxed as well?

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:49 am

They get money in addition to the medals. The money is taxed, not the medal. The question is misleading.

These are professional athletes, of course they can deduct their expenses.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/17/16 8:17 am

They are taxed on the value of their medals in addition to being taxed on their cash winnings.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
08/16/16 3:11 pm

The cash prizes should definitely be taxed. The value medals should be as well, if trophies and medals typically are - that is I wouldn't treat the Olympics as a special case.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:50 am

It's not the medal that's taxed. It's the prize money. I said yes because it's taxed as other income.

EarlyBird Portland
08/16/16 1:05 pm

We have a greedy government.

MLDarby Florissant, CO
08/16/16 12:21 pm

Ahh, should have read further down. But the same argument holds. I use to watch the little kids train to become ice skating champions at the Broadmoor arena in Colorado Springs. It cost between $1,000 to $5,000 per session to include coaching fees, ice time, insurance... While some have sponsors, many less affluent athletes work jobs, train AND attend school. Sooo, not sure that $25k for the gold comes anywhere near what they have spent to get it.

MLDarby Florissant, CO
08/16/16 12:13 pm

Taxing a medal/trophy for monetary value is, like others have said, preposterous. But, by the time the athletes deduct training fees, coaching fees, location fees, travel, boarding away from home... Not to mention sacrificing a normal life to compete. The govt. should owe them a refund. Also, income tax typically is on, well income or monetary gains. If you don't sell the medal, there is no gain.

08/16/16 1:31 pm

Why should the gov owe them a refund? It was their choice to become an athlete

MLDarby Florissant, CO
08/16/16 1:38 pm

They may have chosen to be an athlete like I chose to join the Army. Awardees of the Medal of Honor receive a stipend and other benefits. Should these awards be taxed as well?

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 3:30 pm

If you're going to tax the medals as income, then they would have to subtract any expenses incurred to get the medals to determine their net (taxable) income. If they spent more than they earned, then they'd have a net loss.

brinrawson Knoxville and DC
08/17/16 7:55 am

They receive cash prize money in addition to the medal. That's what's taxed. It's income, taxed as income.

Enigma13 Objection
08/16/16 11:30 am

Thats f**king thievery. Completely unfair to our heroes. Any local government doing this shows a sign of corruption.

08/16/16 11:08 am

It's a gift, not an income.

alkie New York
08/16/16 10:42 am

Have NBC pay for it with all the money they make off the athletes

08/16/16 10:38 am

They are not paying taxes for their medals. The U.S. Olympic Comittee gives a cash prize to winners of Gold ($25,000), Silver ($15,000), and Bronze ($10,000) medals. They are being taxed on this cash prize, not the medal.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/16/16 10:42 am

Since when did they start receiving monetary prizes? That's nuts

08/16/16 11:49 am

Good explanation. Harder to argue when it is cash prize like game show winnings, lottery winnings, salary and bonuses that are also taxed.
They tax soldiers why not athletes?

08/16/16 12:07 pm

No they are paying taxes on the medal read the article: "So what exactly gets taxed? Olympic athletes who win a medal will pay tax on the value of the medal. The value is determined when the medal is earned, not the value of the medal after it’s earned. This is good news for someone like Phelps where the value of the medal following the Olympics could be higher than the actual value of the medal because of the accompanying story. The value of a gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics is approximately $564"

DeathSheep Michigan
08/16/16 10:31 am

"Congratulations! You won a medal for our country! Now pay for it. "

xberraxcudax KY
08/16/16 10:21 am

This is the craziest thing I've ever heard

smacc DunningKruger
08/16/16 10:19 am

Ridiculous!! It's not income. It's a trophy.

gameplayer2014 Constipated Clefable
08/16/16 10:03 am

That shit is unfair. What's next, taxing them on the air they breathe? It's like our government is ran by a bunch of baboons.

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
08/16/16 9:28 am

Their work isn't better than mine. Let them pay their fair share too.

kywrite augusta, ga
08/16/16 9:51 am

Except they might have to sell their medals to pay it. That's messed up.

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
08/16/16 9:58 am

No worse than someone selling their car to pay taxes, forgoing a purchase or vacation in order to do so. Everyone should pay their fair share.

smacc DunningKruger
08/16/16 10:45 am

Let it be a tax exempt for their unpaid work preparing to represent us and making millions for corporations.

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
08/16/16 10:56 am

No. Everyone has unpaid work whether it be high school and college, internships, service contributions, or other preparatory effort to a career or trade. Also, they don't really represent us. They're nothing like a soldier, who also pays income tax BTW.

08/16/16 11:48 am

In a country where almost half pay no income tax (I know libs - people pay sales tax etc.) but no income tax what is fair share?
Stop using stupid lib talking points about fair share -who decides the amount of fair share?

Is 90% tax fair? 80%-70% Or is it fair if you keep half and give the government half at 50%?

Now when they lower the top tax threshold to your wage range is "fair" the same or does your concept of "fair" change when you are the one paying 50 -70%?

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
08/16/16 11:51 am

I'll use any talking point or rationale that I choose. Mind your own business.

smacc DunningKruger
08/16/16 12:57 pm

Obviously I don't agree but nacho is minding his own business.

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
08/16/16 12:59 pm

It's my own business what belief I choose. Argue against it if you like, but don't tell me what I can argue and what I can't. He's not my daddy and I'm not a child.

kywrite augusta, ga
08/16/16 1:09 pm

Soldiers don't pay tax in a designated war zone. It would make sense to apply the same rationale to our Olympic competitors.

Particularly the ones who had to deal with the water!

Okie1967 Lets go brandon
08/16/16 1:31 pm

I can see your rationale, and it's legit, but I still disagree. You raise good pints though, kywrite.

smacc DunningKruger
08/16/16 1:47 pm

Did you say pints? It would be much better if we raised some pints.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 3:32 pm

Okie is correct. This is no worse is concept than the death tax.

shoeless Texas
08/16/16 8:40 am

Here's where I think it gets too far reaching. In years where the Olympics are held in the US, these athletes are winning these prizes on foreign soil. Foreign income is taxable, but there is a minimum amount before that tax kicks in. I have heard, but can't confirm, that a Gold this year is valued at $500. Now, if you win multiple medals, I could see that there is an argument for a tax on that "income".

ronderman North Carolina
08/16/16 8:45 am

The gold (the metal not the medal) is only worth 500.00. Each gold medal winner earns 25k.

That is a great point about having to pay foreign taxes though.

SHIPPY1944 Tn.
08/16/16 8:39 am

If true that is outrageous ! The medals are gold plated, they haven't been Solid gold for years🏅What next, medals won by our military🎖 will be taxed too! What a reward for representing your nation, with honor & sacrifice. Sounds just like the IRS. Another reason for a National flat tax !

swervin Maryland
08/16/16 8:53 am

Saying a person in the military "won" a medal is offensive/stupid. They aren't a prize.

SHIPPY1944 Tn.
08/16/16 9:03 am

AW, don't get your "politically correct" shorts in a bunch over the words "won or earned", if you would have read all that was said, both should honored for their sacrifice👏🏻

swervin Maryland
08/16/16 9:04 am

No, one is correct and one is not. They aren't won. Don't say things that aren't correct. It's that simple.

clipk0 Trump won, get over it.
08/16/16 9:08 am


MJSeals Esq.
08/16/16 9:39 am

You are a moron. You do not WIN military medals. You are awarded them. You do not win a Purple Heart. No one who receives one wants it. The soldier with the highest kill score does not, win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Get out of here with your PC claim. Being anti Political Correctness does not cover your own stupidity and ignorance, especially when you address a uniformed hero like swervin.

kywrite augusta, ga
08/16/16 9:52 am

Military members often have to purchase their own medals, at least until you get to the higher decorations.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/16/16 10:39 am

Won or awarded doesnt matter in this context. They both receive medals.

SHIPPY1944 Tn.
08/16/16 12:14 pm

Well soap my mouth out, & call me bubbles😤 If I've offended you for a incorrect word, I apologize. Thank you for your "anal attentiveness" in correcting me. Is that simple enough for you ?

kywrite augusta, ga
08/16/16 1:11 pm

Shippy, every military member I know would call you out on that word choice. I was corrected on it too. It's very important to military members.

swervin Maryland
08/16/16 2:38 pm

Thanks MJ and Kywrite. I am one of the least PC people I know. The older I get, the less fucks I give about what people think about me but there are some things people need to be corrected on. It's not about being PC, it's about using the correct word.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/16/16 3:32 pm

In most situations I would agree that word usage matters, but in this context it didn't, because it was all about physically being given something of monetary value. The reason they got it doesn't matter.

swervin Maryland
08/16/16 4:08 pm

It's sad when people with no military experience are questioning those who have it. You tell a vet that he "won" his medals, he is likely to pop you in the face. I kind of want you to try it, so just you learn the difference.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/16/16 4:34 pm

You completely missed the point. This,was never about telling a vet they won the medals. It was about the financial implication of GETTING the medal.

SHIPPY1944 Tn.
08/16/16 4:42 pm

No one loves & respects the military anymore than I do. So I would never knowingly to anything to upset or insult any Active or retired military including members of my family. We live near Ft. Campbell Ky. & many military live in our sub. Each one I see in uniform I think them for their service. I also support the wounded warrior project. If an apology, doesn't cover it, I guess you'll just to live with my big mistake !

swervin Maryland
08/16/16 6:08 pm

I know what the poll was about Bluerum and I was trying to inform someone that people in the military don't win medals. It would have not broken down into this if the OP had just said "I didn't know that, thank you for telling me" instead of accusing me of being too politically correct, (which I have never been accused of being before, mind you). If you want to remain ignorant about the difference in "winning" and "earning" a medal, I tried my best. Good luck to you.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/16/16 6:11 pm

I completely understood and agree that they dont win the medals. My point was that in this conversation, that wording is irrelevant.

sproded Minneapolis
08/16/16 11:08 pm

But if we had a flat tax would we include the money they earned from winning a medal in that?

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/17/16 5:29 am

My position would be no. Prize winnings,should not be taxed.

swervin Maryland
08/17/16 6:26 am

I voted no as well. But I think prize winnings should be taxed, such as winning the lottery. The Olympics medal is something you earn, so it should not be taxed.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
08/17/16 6:40 am

I would prefer lottery and the like not be taxed. Not all financial transactions need to be taxed.

kscott516 Masks fail
08/16/16 8:37 am

While I disagree with most of our taxes, this is par for the course and they should be taxed.

ApplchnZMB Chase Away the Hate
08/16/16 8:27 am

Taxes for prize money I could see, but to tax the value of the medal seems a bit much. Let me just cut off a chunk of my gold medal for you Uncle Sam

Nemacyst No Lives Matter
08/16/16 8:43 am

This user is currently being ignored

kywrite augusta, ga
08/16/16 9:54 am

It's probably much more than ten percent.

Liberty 4,032,064
08/16/16 3:39 pm

It's no different in concept than the death tax. If someone dies and leaves behind a house, they're taxed based on the perceived value of the house.

TheWireNerd Seacoast NH
08/16/16 8:25 am

Wait... The IOC never discloses the exact amount of precious metal in the medals, so their true monetary value isn't even known. How do they tax it if nobody knows how much it's worth?

gonzoboy Arizona
08/16/16 8:38 am

The United States pays the athletes $25,000 for winning the gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for Bronze. Then, the Medals are valued, as follows:
-Gold: $600 (The gold medal consist of just 1% of actual gold, 92.5% silver and 6.16% copper).
-Silver: $325 (While in silver medal, the gold is replaced by more copper rest meterial is the same like gold medal)
-Bronze: $3 (Bronze medal however is 97% copper and 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin)

Yes, the metal content IS known, the value IS declared, and the U.S. CAN'T WAIT for it's citizens to get back home and pay up.