'America's Fittest Congressman' Wants Tax Exemptions for Olympic Prizes
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have teamed up for legislation that exempt Olympic winners from paying taxes on their prizes.
Olympic medalists receive honorariums in the form of cash payments of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Currently, the IRS takes 35 percent of that.
Rubio introduced the Olympic Tax Elimination Act yesterday in the Senate, with Schock, a fitness nut who went shirtless in Men's Health magazine last year, introducing the companion bill in the House.
“One of the greatest joys of the Olympics is to watch our athletes perform at the highest levels of competition and to seem them stand on the podium to be rewarded for their success,” said Schock. “Apparently, the sacrifices they make for their success doesn’t stop once they receive their Olympic medals. The federal government has to penalize our athletes by taxing them for the medals they have rightfully earned. This is a classic example of how complicated and costly our tax code has become and why tax reform is badly needed.”
Under the bill, the gross income of Olympic athletes “shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games" for prizes and awards received after Dec. 31, 2011.
“Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness,” said Rubio. “Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home. I’m proud to work with Aaron Schock to make sure that Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence are not punished when they achieve it.”
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