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Bill Would Reduce Taxes On Olympic Medalists

Posted On February 07, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

U.S. Representative Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville)

U.S. Representative Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville)

(Washington, D.C.) – If Hidden Valley’s Nick Goepper, or any other U.S. Olympian, wins a medal at the 2014 Winter Games, they’ll be paying taxes on their winnings when they return to the states.

Currently, medal winners have to pay a 35 percent tax on the prize money and value of the medal they win. The U.S. Olympic Committee awards gold medal winners $25,000, silver medalists $15,000, and bronze winners $10,000.

Gold medal winners pay a medal tax of $236 and a prize tax of $8,750, according to Messer’s office. The total tax burden for those winning silver is $5,385. For bronze, it is $3,502.

Indiana 6th District Congressman Luke Messer (R-Shelbyville) believes the tax is too high. That’s why he’s signed on to House Resolution 3987, or the Tax Exemptions for American Medalists Act.  The bill was filed by Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). He had filed a similar bill in 2012 but it failed to pass Congress.

“This tax burden on our Olympic athletes is excessive and highlights the frivolity of our tax code,” said Messer. “I wish Nick the best of luck and know he’ll represent the U.S. and our home state well.  It’s my hope that he won’t be penalized by the IRS for performing at his best.”

Goepper is representing the U.S. in the new Winter Olympics event men’s ski slopestyle, in which competition is scheduled for Thursday, February 13. He’s considered one of the event’s favorites, having won two consecutive gold medals in the ESPN Winter X Games.

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