What do the American athletes at the Olympics get when they win a gold medal? An $8,986 tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service (revenuers):
While 529 hardworking athletes proudly represent the United States in the 2012 Olympics, any medals and money they earn wearing red, white and blue will be taxed by the IRS. According to research done by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, U.S. Olympic athletes are liable to pay income tax on medals earned and prizes received at the London games.
American medalists face a top income tax rate of 35 percent. Under U.S. tax law, they must add the value of their Olympic medals and prizes to their taxable income. It is therefore easy to calculate the tax bite on Olympic glory.
At today’s commodity prices, the value of a gold medal is about $675. A silver medal is worth about $385 while a bronze medal is worth under $5.
There are also prizes that accompany each medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.
You have to pay if you want to play and if you don’t pay the state will take what it wants at gun point. Perhaps the state isn’t exploiting this tax code enough. They could really exploit this to push the “everybody is a winner” mentality. Those who win competitions can be subjected to major taxes thus ensuring everybody who wins loses and everybody who loses wins.