Getting the Gold But Losing the Money: Taxing Olympic Cash Prizes
(12 Willamette Sports L.J., no. 1, 2014, at 68). This article considers whether the US should tax prize money won at the Olympics by US athletes. The US Olympic Committee (USOC) pays cash prizes for Olympic medals to American athletes; the IRS considers these prizes taxable income. The article considers proposed legislation such as the Olympic Tax Elimination Act and the Tax Exemptions for American Medalists Act. The article considers arguments for and against taxing the prize money; for example, that Nobel and Pulitzer Prize awards are taxable. After discussing the history of the modern Olympics, the article describes USOC and how US Olympic athletes fund their training, compared to Canadians. The article then analyzes the tax code provisions that apply to Olympic prizes and advances the author’s preferred legislative solutions.