Victory Tax: Olympians’ Medals Taxed

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Becoming an Olympic gold medalist comes with a price; years of training, hours upon hours of practice, oh, and paying the tax bill for that shiny new gold medal. Yeah, even the glory of standing on the podium while hearing your national anthem blare through the speakers has a price tag.

It`s no surprise that the prize money and endorsements Olympic athletes receive are game to be shared with Uncle Sam, but you probably don`t realize that the same applies to the actual medals.

For this year`s games, the gold is valued at $564, the silver at $305 and the bronze... well, it`s been described as having “little intrinsic value”.

Even more important are the taxable bonuses that athletes get for winning each medal. For American athletes, gold, silver, and bronze are awarded $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

But in all likelihood, many American Olympians won`t be forced to pay any tax on their medals or bonuses. Since most Olympic athletes treat participation in their sport as a business meaning they can count things such as training expenses, travel, and coaches as tax deductions. If those deductions add up to more than they earn, which is the case for most Olympians, they won't have to pay taxes on medals and prize bonuses.

So you see? Uncle Sam is more patriotic than you think… as long as your paperwork matches.