For quite some time, America’s Olympians have been held accountable by the current tax laws to pay the taxable income that the gold, silver and bronze medals are worth when they make their journey home from the summer Olympic games.
Not many people even knew about this before the 2012 Olympic games, but its well known now that the athletes are taxed the upper income rate of 35 percent. While the actual price for the once sought after metals are less than a $1,000 for each medal, the prize taxes that the athletes must pay are much greater. Although, this also includes the prize money they receive for winning each medal, ranging from $20,000 to $10,000 per category.
Since the Republican vice presidential contender announced the Olympic Tax Elimination Act, heated discussions have erupted involving America’s current tax situation.
Even though a lot of people, including the president, have quickly taken the side of the athletes, some with valid reasons, there are still plenty of people that continue to support the current tax laws. So, what are some of the valid reasons being expressed to deny an athlete the chance to keep all their earnings?
Complicating An Already Complicated System
Many critics explain that creating another exemption will only complicate the current tax rules and that there isn’t a significant reason for the government to handle a medal winner’s income any different than a non-Olympic citizen. The fact that many people had no idea Olympian winners were taxed, is proof enough that tax system has much bigger problems to deal with.
Everyone Must Follow The Rules
What about the college students that are work multiple jobs to pay a semester of tuition fees? What about the small to medium business owners who have to sacrifice in order to meet their payroll requirements each week? The reasoning here is that citizens who earn because it’s necessary are taxed, so why not tax someone who does something that isn’t. With the current tax law, the Olympians aren’t being targeted with a special tax, they’re just following the rules like every other citizen in the country.
The Olympian Lifestyle
Being an Olympian is a lifestyle of choice, even if you are talented, as there are many out there, you don’t have to pursue a career in being an Olympic athlete. And those that do are typically well off, as many have sponsors, supportive communities and dedicated families. This a choice that has to be made, as there are many unknown Olympians who live like many other low income citizens, but still take part in the games. Some people just believe that being an athlete, which is considered a leisurely lifestyle by many, for a majority of your life shouldn’t grant a special tax treatment.
Marcela De Vivo is an internent marketing consultant and freelance writer focusing on political and immigration issues for Oltarsh & Associates. She enjoys staying up to date on modern technologies and using social media to bring awareness to brands. Follow her on her social profiles at Facebook or Twitter.