WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has co-sponsored legislation to exempt U.S. athletes competing in the Olympics and Paralympics from paying taxes on the medals they win at competition.
Specifically, S.2026 would amend Section 74 of the Internal Revenue Code to state that “gross income” for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes will not include the value of any medals or prize money they win while competing in the Olympics or Paralympics. The legislation would bring the United States in line with the majority of developed nations in not taxing their Olympic athletes who bring home medals.
The legislation would not exempt the athletes from having to pay taxes on any endorsements or sponsorship income earned later as a result of their success at the Games.
“I congratulate all of our Olympic and Paralympic medalists who have dedicated their own time and money to compete on behalf of our nation,” said Isakson. “They should be welcomed as heroes, not handed a tax bill, when they return home from competition. This legislation is just the right thing to do.”
The bipartisan legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would begin with the 2014 Olympic Games currently being held in Sochi, Russia.
Isakson is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax and other revenue measures.
The legislation is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Chuck Shumer, D-N.Y., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and John Hoeven, R-N.D.