Olympic Medalists Will Settle Up with IRS

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New legislation is pending to exempt Olympic medalists from paying taxes on the prize money they win from the competitions, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has compared such an exemption to the one available to military servicemen and servicewomen in combat. There is precedent for exempting prize money from taxes, but only if the money is donated to charity.

Nobel Prize winners, for example, can opt to donate their winnings to charity and circumvent the income tax that would apply to the winnings. Some prize winners, such as those who catch a valuable fly ball at the ballpark, could have taken advantage of tax breaks but received bad advice instead. Our country's remarkable athletes who are representing us at the Olympics deserve all of the accolades and prizes they receive, but I'm not sure they qualify for an exemption from income taxes.

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Why don't we just call it what it is. Participating, including competing, in the Olympic Games has become a business. Any 'prizes' received should be treated as earnings - no different than the winning purse at the Kentucky Derby or the Indianapolis 500.

I agree. The Olympics has become more business like. But I have one major question. I need to understand this so I can have an opinion one way or the other. If the athletes call their winnings as income, don't they get to deduct the costs of training such as coach, room rental, equipment, equipment rental, medical care, etc. By the time you subtract those costs, how much money does an olympic winner make? Also going to combat in Iraq is scarier than competing in Olympics. I do not care if americans in Iraq get a tax break.