Should Olympic Athletes Pay Taxes on Their Winnings?
Legislators have voted to exempt Olympic athletes from paying taxes on the monetary winnings they receive for their medals received during the Olympic games and The Rob & Kat Mykals disagree on whether or not this is acceptable.
Legislators voted 415 (yes) to 1 (no) to hold Olympic athletes exempt from paying taxes on the prize money awarded to them for their medal accomplishments. US Olympians receive $25k for each gold medal, $15k for each silver and $10k for each bronze medal. Olympic gymnast, Simone Biles. She won 4 gold medals and 1 bronze medal. She would receive $110,000 - tax free. Swimmer Michael Phelps won 5 gold and 1 silver. That's $140,000, again tax free.
As I mentioned on the air, it's my opinion that Olympic medalists should not be required to pay taxes on the winnings associated with their medal winnings. We do not pay these athletes to train - AT ALL - We ASK them to go represent our country with pride and dignity at the games; We tout their accomplishments as OUR successes; We reward them and thank them for their abilities with parades and accolades, it's NOT fair for our country to ask that of them AND THEN demand that they PAY US for doing it. I saw several people mention that they were military veterans who served our country, and they have to pay taxes... But that's not even close to the same thing that we're talking about. People serving in the US military are being PAID for their service, unlike the athletes.
I feel like Olympic athletes should absolutely be taxed on the money they receive for their medal wins. If I train my entire life to play poker and I win big in the World Series of Poker, I would be required to pay taxes on those winnings. If I get a big bonus as work, separate from my regular pay, for a job well done, you can bet the government is going to take their share. While I realize that Olympic athletes train hard and spend their lives preparing to compete on the world stage, that is a personal choice that they made. It isn't like the government selected these people at birth and said, "you will spend your life training to represent your country on an Olympic level." It's a choice and as such, I think any winnings received should be taxable.